This project is designed to:
- Create a safe and modern parkway that will improve the connections between Eastern Kentucky and the rest of the state;
- Support tourism, businesses and economic development efforts in Eastern Kentucky;
- Complement ongoing state and national efforts to boost economic vitality across the Appalachian region.
The multiyear Mountain Parkway project calls for widening and expanding existing two-lane highways and extending the Mountain Parkway to Prestonsburg along KY 114.
When the parkway expansion is completed, the Mountain Parkway will run more than 90 miles between Interstate 64 and US 23 in Eastern Kentucky. The project will complete a four-lane, high-speed route across the length of the state – from Paducah to Pikeville.
Helping Kentucky SOAR
The Mountain Parkway Expansion is part of several broader initiatives aimed at revitalizing areas of Eastern Kentucky that have experienced high rates of unemployment in recent years.
Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) is a bi-partisan initiative supported by federal and state representatives. The initiative seeks solutions to improve the economy throughout Eastern Kentucky and improve the quality of life in the region.
In addition to working to improve transportation infrastructure in the region, a key SOAR initiative is to improve and expand broadband and Internet services available to Eastern Kentucky homes, businesses, schools and hospitals.
Several counties along the Mountain Parkway also have been named among five Promise Zones in the United States where the federal government has committed to helping create jobs, increase private investment and boost economic activity over the next 10 years.
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corp. was selected to lead the Kentucky Promise Zone. The organization is working with federal, state and local agencies and private partners to coordinate resources that can improve the economy and quality of life in the region.