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Author Topic: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky  (Read 19784 times)

hbelkins

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Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« on: August 28, 2009, 09:52:46 PM »

Preliminary work is underway on planning for widening a portion of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky from an undivided two- and three-lane route to a four-lane divided highway.

A public hearing was conducted last night to allow for public comments as the environmental assessment is completed. It's expected that a FONSI will be issued and the project can proceed to selection of an alignment from among the alternatives some time next year.

No funding is currently in place for phase II design, ROW acquisition, utility relocation or construction. The section under study is a 17-mile stretch from Exit 57 in Wolfe County to Exit 75 in Magoffin County.

Press release on the hearing is at http://tinyurl.com/lgxu62

Pre-hearing press release is at http://tinyurl.com/nwshw7

Television coverage on WMYT-TV from their 6 p.m. local newscast on Aug. 27 is located at http://tinyurl.com/lmq8ff

Further coverage on WMYT-TV's 11 p.m. newscast of the same date is at http://tinyurl.com/mt65c3. Choose the 11 p.m. newscast from WYMT-TV (not WKYT-TV) on Aug. 27 and forward the video to the 10:30 mark.

I have PDFs of the exhibits showing aerial photographs with property lines and potential alternative corridors superimposed at work. I'll try to post them somewhere on Monday.
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SP Cook

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 10:15:31 PM »

Was any consideration given to keeping the tolls on to pay for this, back in the 80s?  It seems to me that this road, unlike the Daniel Boone, paid itself off in good order, and could have been expanded to 4 lanes with a continuation of the tolls for maybe 10-15 more years.

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hbelkins

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 10:23:28 PM »

There was discussion of leaving the tolls on, not to pay for expansion, but to keep up maintenance. However, there was a huge public outcry of opposition and the idea was quickly abandoned as fast as that trial balloon was shot down. My understanding is that the idea of reinstituting the tolls to pay for expansion has been floated but as of now is a non-starter in Frankfort.

The Daniel Boone was on schedule to pay the bonds off but the congressional appropriation allowed it and the Cumberland to be paid off ahead of schedule. A similar appropriation a couple of years later resulted in the tolls being removed from the Green River and Audubon parkways.

(Is anyone else having trouble getting the "quote" function to work to reply to posts? It is not working for me, and I've tried in Safari and Firefox both.)
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Chris

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2009, 04:31:18 AM »

There was discussion of leaving the tolls on, not to pay for expansion, but to keep up maintenance. However, there was a huge public outcry of opposition and the idea was quickly abandoned as fast as that trial balloon was shot down.

Oh I love that American mentality... We Europeans accept everything the government does  X-(

By Mountain Parkway you mean the "Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway" from Winchester to Salyersville?

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2009, 07:10:08 AM »

Yes, that is the road in question.  Kentucky went on an, unfortunate IMHO, spate of renaming its named parkways after politicians.

Kentucky is in the minority of states that operated its toll system under what I consider an honest basis.

Kentucky built, starting in the 1960s, an entire system of "parkways" (these are ordinary expressways, not scenic routes) on a toll basis.  Some are 4-lane and, except to the most geeky of road geeks, indistinguishable from interstates, while others were built to the "super 2" standard.  Kentucky promised to take the tolls off as the roads were paid off.  And it did.  The last four roads were, as mentioned above, paid off early by a federal appropriation.

Other states that kept their promise were Connecticuit and Virginia, along with the Canadian provence of Quebec.

Most states, however, have kept tolls on, despite promises and even in the direct face of laws, for generations after pay off, often diverting money to all manner of non-transportation projects.
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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2009, 11:15:12 AM »

With the widening, how close would that put the Mountain Parkway to Interstate standards?
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hbelkins

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2009, 01:13:58 PM »

With the widening, how close would that put the Mountain Parkway to Interstate standards?

Virtually indistinguishable to the average driver or even the average "roadgeek" but there probably will be some engineering deviations, probably in median width. The existing four-lane has some deficiencies in accel/decel lanes at exits and also median width, but if that portion of I-70 between New Stanton and Washington can be a major interstate, then the Mountain Parkway could be a 3di.
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Chris

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2009, 01:35:38 PM »

I-364?  :cool:

I-164 may give some confusion with the I-164 around Evansville, although the Mountain Parkway and Evansville are not very close to eachother.

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2009, 06:32:39 PM »

US 460 would be more fitting, IMO...
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hbelkins

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2009, 07:28:30 PM »

US 460 would be more fitting, IMO...

In a lot of ways, I agree. As it is now, US 460 ends at Frankfort. From Salyersville to Frankfort it runs across what was once old KY 40. In fact, when the new US 460 between Salyersville and Paintsville was built, old 460 was renumbered back to 40.

I'd flop US 460 and KY 114 (the KY 114 designation dates back to before US 460's entrance into Kentucky) and then it would be perfectly logical to run US 460 across the existing Mountain Parkway and end it at I-64.
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SP Cook

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2009, 08:15:54 PM »

Personally, I think that all of the Kentucky Parkways should pick up the nearest appropriate route number.  Now that these are not toll roads, it makes no sense for one state to have a seperate system of named routes. 
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hbelkins

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2009, 06:40:34 PM »

Personally, I think that all of the Kentucky Parkways should pick up the nearest appropriate route number.  Now that these are not toll roads, it makes no sense for one state to have a seperate system of named routes. 

They are unsigned numbered routes (9000-series) but the only signed indication of such is the bridge for the westbound lanes at the Mountain Parkway's terminus at I-64 has a small "KY 9000" green text marker.

As for numbers:

Mountain: US 460
Bluegrass and Western KY: US 62
Hal Rogers and Cumberland: KY 80
Green River: US 231
Pennyrile: US 41
Audubon: US 60

The only parkway that doesn't have a route paralleling it for its entire route or a logical extension of a route is the Purchase. Not sure what number I'd give it but it will eventually be I-69 so it really doesn't matter, I guess.
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Revive 755

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 04:31:42 PM »

Dusting off this thread . . .

As of early November, the four lane section of the Mountain Parkway extends east of the KY 15 interchange (Exit 42) - is widening the rest of the parkway still on track?

On a related note, there is a new diamond interchange under construction on the Mountain Parkway near Milemarker 11.
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hbelkins

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 08:49:30 PM »

Dusting off this thread . . .

As of early November, the four lane section of the Mountain Parkway extends east of the KY 15 interchange (Exit 42) - is widening the rest of the parkway still on track?

Yes. Widening of the easternmost couple of miles could go to bid next year. I'm hearing that the leadership in the Kentucky House of Representatives plans to make this a priority for funding. And the president of the Kentucky Senate represents, or has represented in the past, the Mountain Parkway counties, so he's on board as well.

Quote
On a related note, there is a new diamond interchange under construction on the Mountain Parkway near Milemarker 11.

Long needed. This will give residents of eastern Clark County better access to the county seat of Winchester. Currently, there are no exits in Clark County other than the western terminus of the Mountain Parkway at I-64, making the parkway useless to residents of Clark County.

There's also a project under development to make the western terminus at I-64 a full exit instead of a partial exit. Unnecessary, in my opinion. There won't be a lot of traffic from the westbound parkway to eastbound I-64, or westbound I-64 to the eastbound parkway. Making a U-turn at Exit 96 (KY 627) isn't that much of an inconvenience that needs a multi-million dollar fix.
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froggie

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2013, 09:32:47 AM »

Quote
There's also a project under development to make the western terminus at I-64 a full exit instead of a partial exit. Unnecessary, in my opinion. There won't be a lot of traffic from the westbound parkway to eastbound I-64, or westbound I-64 to the eastbound parkway. Making a U-turn at Exit 96 (KY 627) isn't that much of an inconvenience that needs a multi-million dollar fix.

Is KYTC looking at making improvements to I-64?  If so, it might be FHWA pushing for the full interchange, since FHWA frowns upon partial Interstate interchanges these days.
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hbelkins

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2013, 11:12:22 AM »

Is KYTC looking at making improvements to I-64?  If so, it might be FHWA pushing for the full interchange, since FHWA frowns upon partial Interstate interchanges these days.

I-64's been widened to six lanes all the way east from I-75 to the Mountain Parkway, but I know of no plans to extend the widening eastward toward Mt. Sterling.
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Henry

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2013, 01:38:11 PM »

Quote
There's also a project under development to make the western terminus at I-64 a full exit instead of a partial exit. Unnecessary, in my opinion. There won't be a lot of traffic from the westbound parkway to eastbound I-64, or westbound I-64 to the eastbound parkway. Making a U-turn at Exit 96 (KY 627) isn't that much of an inconvenience that needs a multi-million dollar fix.

Is KYTC looking at making improvements to I-64?  If so, it might be FHWA pushing for the full interchange, since FHWA frowns upon partial Interstate interchanges these days.

I-895 in Baltimore still has those partial interchanges, with an exception being Lombard Street (Exit 12), where once you enter, you can't exit until you pay the toll for the tunnel.
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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2013, 11:42:54 PM »

I-895 in Baltimore still has those partial interchanges, with an exception being Lombard Street (Exit 12), where once you enter, you can't exit until you pay the toll for the tunnel.

This is a feature, not a bug, as it keeps hyper-local traffic off the road and prevents congestion. And the road predates the interstate system so FHWA rules don't apply the same way.

Normally
, however, I tend to agree that partial interchanges are undesirable since they prevent you from being able to use services off the exit and then continue your trip, and also make the mistake of having taken a wrong exit much harder to correct.
(and missing movements can be annoying for clinching roads :))
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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2019, 05:12:31 PM »

Will they ever add more flyover bridges so you can access the Mountains Parkway from the east coming from Mount Sterling.

There was a bad wreck at the Winchester 627 exit and I it made it worse with all the Mountain Parkway traffic merging with 64. If they had an eastbound ramp atleast people could have detoured around the mess.

SM-G950U

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hbelkins

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2019, 08:21:57 PM »

Will they ever add more flyover bridges so you can access the Mountains Parkway from the east coming from Mount Sterling.

There was a bad wreck at the Winchester 627 exit and I it made it worse with all the Mountain Parkway traffic merging with 64. If they had an eastbound ramp atleast people could have detoured around the mess.

SM-G950U

There's a project under development that would convert that to a full interchange. I'm not sure where it is in the planning process, or if it's been put on hold due to the SHIFT prioritization process that's been implemented since the last public meeting was held.

https://transportation.ky.gov/DistrictSeven/Pages/Mountain-Parkway-Interchange.aspx
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Revive 755

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2019, 11:13:13 PM »

Will they ever add more flyover bridges so you can access the Mountains Parkway from the east coming from Mount Sterling.

There was a bad wreck at the Winchester 627 exit and I it made it worse with all the Mountain Parkway traffic merging with 64. If they had an eastbound ramp atleast people could have detoured around the mess.

SM-G950U

Was there ever consideration for an interchange at KY 1960/Ecton Road?

Just looking at maps, it does not seem to me that the volumes at for the missing movements at the I-64/Mountain Parkway interchange would be great enough to warrant putting them in.  Using Google, I get a difference of 13.7 miles and 3 minutes for using the Mountain Parkway and I-64 between the Mountain Parkway just before Exit 10 and I-64 just east of Exit 110 versus using KY 974, KY 11, and KY 686.  Moving the starting point farther east on the Mountain Parkway to near Campton seems to keep the KY 974 option as the second best time wise to Mt. Sterling versus using KY 213.
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hbelkins

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2019, 07:54:28 PM »

Will they ever add more flyover bridges so you can access the Mountains Parkway from the east coming from Mount Sterling.

There was a bad wreck at the Winchester 627 exit and I it made it worse with all the Mountain Parkway traffic merging with 64. If they had an eastbound ramp atleast people could have detoured around the mess.

SM-G950U

Was there ever consideration for an interchange at KY 1960/Ecton Road?

Not to my knowledge.

Quote
Just looking at maps, it does not seem to me that the volumes at for the missing movements at the I-64/Mountain Parkway interchange would be great enough to warrant putting them in.  Using Google, I get a difference of 13.7 miles and 3 minutes for using the Mountain Parkway and I-64 between the Mountain Parkway just before Exit 10 and I-64 just east of Exit 110 versus using KY 974, KY 11, and KY 686.  Moving the starting point farther east on the Mountain Parkway to near Campton seems to keep the KY 974 option as the second best time wise to Mt. Sterling versus using KY 213.

That KY 974 interchange was built primarily for local traffic in that section of Clark County, long after the tolls were removed (several other exits have been built on various former toll roads after the tolls came off). It was federally funded as a pet project of former Congressman Ben Chandler. It's signed for Winchester/Mt. Sterling, but no one is going to use that route to get to Mt. Sterling. KY 974 and various connecting roads leading toward Mt. Sterling are very narrow and not really suited for through traffic. Using KY 627 to do a U-turn isn't really an inconvenience. Most traffic going to Mt. Sterling from the westbound Mountain Parkway uses either KY 11 from Clay City, or KY 213 and US 460 from Stanton.
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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2019, 04:15:35 PM »

Is there a timetable for widening the 2-lane segment of the Mountain Parkway to 4 lanes, and/or extending it to US 23 in Prestonsburg?
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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2019, 04:18:00 PM »

All of that can be found at https://mtnparkway.com/

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Re: Widening of the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2020, 04:20:52 PM »

Gov. Beshear Announces $55 Million Grant to Expand Mountain Parkway in Wolfe County
Quote
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 16, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday that his administration successfully secured for a $55,150,000 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to fund the Mountain Parkway Expansion through Wolfe County. The grant was awarded to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).

The federal grant will be used to widen 11 miles of the Mountain Parkway, creating a safer and modernized four-lane corridor for drivers travelling between Interstate Highway 64 and Salyersville. The expansion will increase capacity for freight and goods along this corridor, reduce travel time and connect Eastern Kentucky to the rest of the commonwealth.

“This is a great step forward for the people of Eastern Kentucky, is great news for Team Kentucky and will open up the region for so many opportunities,” Gov. Beshear said.

The INFRA grant will fund the following:

Upgrade the last remaining two-lane section of the Mountain Parkway corridor between I-64 and Salyersville;
Improve the safety and efficiency of travel through the corridor;
Provide for the reconstruction of the existing Campton interchange (KY 191) to allow full eastbound and westbound access;
Modernize the Hazel Green interchange (KY 1010) to improve safety and mobility.
“Moving forward with construction on the Wolfe County segment will bring the Mountain Parkway Expansion one step closer to closing the only gap in a 400-mile, four-lane, high-speed corridor for commerce and mobility across Kentucky,” said Jim Gray, Secretary of Transportation. “Closing this gap is an investment in safety, in future economic development and most of all, in Kentuckians.”

This investment in the Parkway will also provide significant support for Kentucky's growing shipping, manufacturing and logistics industries.

Updates on this project can be found on the Mountain Parkway Expansion website at www.mtnparkway.com
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