SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 22, 2016) – Eastern Kentucky travelers have a little more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The first construction project of the Mountain Parkway Expansion is substantially completed, ahead of schedule. And crews are taking a break for the holiday, eliminating possible delays over the holiday weekend.
A new interchange at Gifford Road in Magoffin County has opened as part of the Mountain Parkway Expansion.
“This is another major milestone for the project,” said Marshall Carrier, a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineer who is project manager for the Mountain Parkway Expansion. “We started this expansion in one of the most traveled sections of the parkway, and the entire team made sure this project stayed on track. Now, motorists in Eastern Kentucky can see the future the Mountain Parkway – a four-lane, high-speed route for travelers.”
The $22.4 million project near Gifford Road in Magoffin County began early last year and opened to traffic about a month earlier than expected. The improved section of parkway is about 5 miles west of Salyersville, between mile points 69 and 71 of the Mountain Parkway.
The general contractor for the project was Bizzack Construction LLC, of Lexington, Ky., which also is overseeing construction on two nearby parkway construction projects.
As part of the nearly two-year project, KYTC:
Three other construction projects are underway in Magoffin County, where significant roadway improvements are being made to the east of the Gifford Road project.
Near the KY 30 interchange (Exit 72), a new bridge and three new ramps recently opened to traffic. Construction crews are continuing work on the future westbound lanes of the expanded parkway between mile points 72 and 75, and the project is scheduled to be completed early next year.
Around the KY 7 interchange, excavation and construction work also is continuing. This project includes widening the corridor to four lanes, modernizing the KY 7 interchange and constructing new bridges across KY 7 and Licking River.
Along the Restaurant Row Segment of the Mountain Parkway Expansion, crews continue to relocate utilities before beginning road construction work later this year. Construction in this area is scheduled to be ongoing through 2019.
Speed limits have been reduced, and signs are posted to alert drivers to use caution.
“Restaurant Row is the most congested section along the Mountain Parkway corridor,” Carrier said. “We’re doing everything possible to limit impacts to the businesses operating in the area. Our team has taken great strides to plan construction activities so they won’t interrupt business operations, and we are communicating continually with businesses and the community to let them know where we will be working next.”
Thanksgiving travelers on the Mountain Parkway won’t experience any delays due to construction in Magoffin County this year. Construction crews working on the projects near Salyersville will wrap up activities Wednesday afternoon and return to work Monday, November 28. As a result, no construction stoppages will occur over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Mountain Parkway Expansion is a 46-mile transportation improvement project that will create a wider, safer connection between Eastern Kentucky and the rest of the Commonwealth. It is a key transportation project designed to close the only gap in a 400-mile, four-lane, high-speed corridor for commerce and mobility across Kentucky from Pikeville to Paducah. The project will widen 30 miles of the existing parkway to four lanes and extend the parkway by about 16 miles between Salyersville and Prestonsburg.