SALYERSVILLE – Within a few weeks, three new sections of access road will open in the Restaurant Row Segment of the Mountain Parkway Expansion project. The opening of these roads, along with bridge construction nearby, paves the way for the next phase of the project: expanding a busy 2.4-mile section of the Mountain Parkway to four lanes.
By early July, three new roads will open to traffic:
- A service road on the north side of the Mountain Parkway from near the Magoffin County Health Department to near Subway; this road is also accessible from a connector road near First Commonwealth Bank
- A frontage road running on the south side of the parkway from Parkway Drive to near L&H Alignment and the car wash
- A frontage road on the south side of the parkway near Magoffin County High School
After these roads open, direct access to the parkway will be closed off gradually in preparation for widening the main roadway.
Transitioning traffic to access roads will improve safety for drivers and pedestrians in this busy stretch of roadway. “Having dozens of access points – and having them so close together – makes it challenging for drivers to exit businesses along the parkway safely, especially if they are turning left,” said Marshall Carrier, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s project manager for the Mountain Parkway Expansion. “By consolidating the number of places where drivers can enter the main roadway and by funneling this traffic out at stop lights, we reduce the number of conflict points where accidents can occur.”
These roads will also improve access to businesses. “Drivers will see little to no difference in the time it takes to reach a business, and they will also able to use an access road to loop back to a location they have already passed,” said Marshall Carrier. “The project team met with dozens of area residents, business and property owners to prepare them for the significant improvements that are planned and to make sure that the best interests of this community were served.”
Work to widen the main roadway is expected to begin later this year. All construction on the Restaurant Row segment is scheduled to be completed in 2019.
About the Mountain Parkway Expansion
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. The project will widen 30 miles of the existing parkway from two lanes to four lanes, and will extend the parkway another 16 miles between Salyersville and Prestonsburg.
The 2.4-mile Restaurant Row Segment runs from just east of the current Mountain Parkway through a business d¬istrict in Salyersville. It was funded in part by a $24 million federal TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The expansion project will widen the primary roadway to four lanes, limit entry points and expand a system of local access roads.
For more information on the Mountain Parkway Expansion, visit www.MtnParkway.com or follow the project on Twitter (@MtnParkway) or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mtnparkway). A project office is open in Magoffin Plaza in Salyersville; call (606) 349-8160 for hours.
More on the project
Marshall Carrier, project manager for the Mountain Parkway Expansion Project through the Kentucky Department of Transportation, met with the Independent, Your News Today and WYMT on Friday, June 22, discussing the project and the upcoming changes.
“There are dozens of access points along this road, so there’s a lot of safety issues to address,” Carrier said.
He confirmed that the three sections of access roads that are set to open soon will be striped and ready to go around the end of June and beginning of July.
While another stop light is set to start running with the opening of the access road (near First Commonwealth Bank and running behind McDonald's and the health department, in front of Mi Hacienda, and eventually coming out on Parkway Drive near Poor Boy’s), Carrier said it should increase the safety of the road.
“The inclusion of a stop light may be a little troubling for first-time users, but it will prove to be a better safety project,” Carrier said.
He asked that drivers coming through the area be cognizant of the signs indicating traffic changes and to slow down.
“Just be cautious,” Carrier said. “Workers are out here all the time and those are mothers and fathers.”
For those that are skeptical of the new road plans, he said road constructions like this one have been proven effective in areas with similar traffic demands.
The Restaurant Row section of the Mountain Parkway Expansion project, which aims at widening the road to a four-lane, is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019.
In the meantime, traffic will have to be shifted to the access roads at times while the construction on the main road occurs.
For updates on the project and more-detailed maps of the plans, go online to www.mtnparkway.com.