Date of release: October 8, 2019
Note: This release is from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Department of Rural and Municipal Aid Commissioner Gray Tomblyn II attended Tuesday’s Paducah City Commission meeting to announce more than $1.1 million in discretionary funds for two projects.
At the start of the meeting, Tomblyn presented McCracken County Judge-Executive Craig Clymer an award of $497,150 for the Milton Drive project. It includes the reconstruction of the Milton Drive intersection with Starr Hill Road in the Lone Oak area.
Tomblyn then presented the City of Paducah a $650,000 award to resurface and widen South 25th Street (CS 1317) in Paducah between U.S. 60/South Beltline Highway and KY 996/Old Mayfield Road—a key urban connector.
The significant investments support Governor Matt Bevin’s commitment to prioritize transportation infrastructure projects and increase economic opportunity in communities across the Commonwealth.
“The Bevin Administration continues to focus on maintaining important infrastructure at both the state and local level to support job creation and retention, as well as enhancing safety,” said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas. “This discretionary award builds upon existing transportation investments and allows the Cabinet to collaborate with local government agencies to identify projects that will have a significant impact on our infrastructure and in our communities.”
The award to Paducah will improve a highly-traveled route between U.S. 60/South Beltline Highway and KY 994/Old Mayfield Road.
Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless noted that South 25th Street is in need of rehabilitation and paving.
“I’m grateful that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is providing this funding to immensely improve South 25th Street,” Mayor Harless said. “This is a complete street and sidewalk restoration project for a roadway that connects several neighborhoods to Baptist Health Paducah, Paducah Tilghman High School, the Housing Authority of Paducah, and Brooks Stadium. This is one of those rare projects that checks numerous boxes. A revitalized South 25th Street will improve drainage, walkability, connectivity, and safety. It’s an incredible win for the people of Paducah.”
In the application for discretionary funding, the city indicated the Cross Creek Bridge was recently replaced and is in good condition. However, the section of South 25th Street is in need of pavement rehabilitation, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. Reconstruction of the roadway to reflect its function as an urban vehicle and pedestrian connector will improve safety and better serve the neighborhood.
In addition to improving traffic flow, reconstruction of South 25th Street will improve connectivity for approximately 2,000 citizens and 45 businesses.
The Milton Drive project will improve an important artery between Lone Oak and the Hendron community in McCracken County. The project includes raising the elevation of Milton Drive and lowering the grade of Starr Hill Road/Iowa Street to develop a three-way stop condition with adequate stop sight distance for all traffic movements.
McCracken County Judge-Executive Craig Clymer said both awards will improve safety for area residents.
"This is a great example of what can happen when the city, county, and state government work hand in hand to improve safety," Clymer said.
Clymer credited previous McCracken County Judge-Executive Bob Leeper and the fiscal court with starting work on the funding request more than a year ago.
Representative Randy Bridges expressed his appreciation for the funding to advance both projects.
“As a member of the Transportation Committee in Frankfort, I know how important it is that we have safe and smooth roads to drive on,” Rep. Bridges said. “I want to thank Governor Bevin for working with our local officials and the General Assembly to allocate this much-needed funding to Paducah and McCracken County. Quality infrastructure is critical to both economic development and the safety of our citizens. These investments are proof that the needs of our area are being prioritized in Frankfort.”
State Senator Danny Carroll echoed the importance of both the 25th Street and Milton Drive improvements.
“I’m pleased to learn that Paducah and McCracken County have received funding for these much-needed projects,” Senator Carroll said. “Nothing is more essential to a successful community than having safe roadways, and I look forward to the completion of these significant infrastructure upgrades.”
Projects submitted to the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid for discretionary funding consideration are evaluated by the KYTC district engineering staff to determine the most critical street and road needs based on factors such as safety, economic impact, and traffic volume.
The City of Paducah and McCracken County Fiscal Court will be responsible for completing the respective projects with KYTC supplied funding.