UNION COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) A section of one of Union County’s busiest roads is closed for the next two weeks.
A part of highway 60 near the Henderson-Union County line is under construction as contractors replace aging culverts.
Earlier this morning, contractors started digging and removing barriers at that site near the Henderson County-Union County border. People living along Highway 60 hope this short-term convenience leads to long term solutions.
“It’s going to make things better. it’s just going to take a while,” says Tim Cowan, who lives next to the construction site. He’s gone through flooding along the highway several times in the 34 years he’s lived in this area.
“I’ve had to move three times since I’ve been here, but it’s not as bad as it used to be,” he said. “We get blocked in here sometimes and can’t get out. I’ve had to take a tractor to get out.”
Contractors are replacing culverts that are more than 80 years old. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials say crews are replacing them in several sections on a two mile stretch of the highway. The goal is to reduce flooding, which officials say has gotten more frequent in recent decades.
“If it works the way it was explained to me, I think it will be a very good plan,” says Steve Utley, who lives near the construction site.
The culverts will be placed one at a time and will be followed by layers of asphalt — put down four inches at a time to raise the highway. Detours also started. Cowan and others say they’ve helped several people find their way around the blocked road to get from union to Henderson county.
“A lot of traffic not paying attention to the signs and coming in here, turning around, and asking for directions and everything,” says Cowan, describing the traffic near the road closure.
“Myself, I’m a truck driver out of Morganfield, and we have to go around 56 and 41 to get to Henderson. We can’t go through Smith Mills because of the weight of the bridge over on that road there. It’s kind of hassle, but something’s got to be done,” Utley adds.
KYTC officials say the total cost of this flood relief is expected to cost $2.5 million.
(This story was originally published on July 21, 2019)