2-YEAR ROAD PLAN APPROVED: Parkway expansion, bridge repair budgeted

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FRANKFORT - On Tuesday, the Kentucky House and Senate approved the final biennial highway construction plan, which postpones completion of the Mountain Parkway expansion project.

While other projects in the state's plan shifted as it passed through the House and Senate, the budget for Magoffin stayed the same in each draft, with Magoffin receiving a total of $118,045,000 in state roadwork between now and the 2016. The majority of the spending  is allocated to the widening of the Mountain Parkway. The project was set to be completed by the year 2020, but under the new plan, a portion will not be completed until 2024. 

Within the plan, the project will still begin this year, with the majority on target to be completed by the original goal of 2020. The section of the Mountain Parkway closest to Campton is the part of the plan affected by the delay.

By pushing back the overall completion date, the need for tolls, which was previously discussed, would be eliminated.

Representative Leslie Combs told the Lexington Herald-Leader last month when the plan was passed by the House, " "The whole point of the Mountain Parkway is to open up the region and make it more accessible," Combs said. "Tolls were not going to help. We're having this big debate about whether the Louisville bridges should have tolls, and everyone has jobs in Louisville."

Furthermore, she said, " "To the governor's credit, he was trying to get it done in six years. But we've waited 50 years to finish the Mountain Parkway, and we can wait a little longer. This just seemed the more responsible way to go."

Also on the biennial road plan passed on Tuesday, April 15 for the fiscal years 2014 through 2016 are the bridge replacements and/or reconstruction on Route CR 1756, two on KY 2019, and two on KY 30.