The ribbon cutting celebration for the Olivet Church Road Improvement Project was held Thursday, November 3 at 11 a.m. on the section of new five-lane roadway just northwest of the Kentucky Oaks Mall area. The project has involved the widening of Olivet Church Road (KY 998) to three lanes with improved drainage, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks in addition to the construction of a new stretch of five-lane roadway that links the Kentucky Oaks Mall area at U.S. 60 to an existing section of Olivet Church Road.
Mayor Gayle Kaler says, “One of my priorities when I was elected Mayor was to see the completion of the Olivet Church Road Improvement Project. The widening of Olivet Church Road has been needed for years as traffic has increased. Furthermore, the new five-lane artery provides another access for customers of the mall area while releasing some pressure on Hinkleville Road.”
Mayor Kaler adds, “Another exciting result of this project is that it opens up additional land parcels for development.”
City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “This project happened through the strong vision and commitment of government at several levels to improve transportation access for residents and visitors to this community. It took a good deal of determination, planning, and perseverance for the City in partnership with the State of Kentucky and a multitude of partners and stakeholders to see this project through to completion. The City Commission, in particular, stayed with this project through many difficult decision points, and it is a credit to its leadership that we now have this enhanced access-way to and through our retail hub.”
Construction begins June 1, 2015 (posted 5-29-2015) - The City entered into the contract with Jim Smith Contracting in May 2015. The construction phase of the Olivet Church Road Improvement Project began Monday, June 1. It is a 400 calendar-day project. On that date, the traffic signal located at U.S. 60 and New Holt Road was reconfigured and barricades installed to prevent traffic from using the mall access road located between Chuck E. Cheese’s and Red Lobster. In other words, traffic cannot travel north from New Holt Road straight into the mall complex. Traffic will turn either left or right but will not be allowed to go straight through the intersection. Traffic will be able to cross the connector road in a designated location next to the Sears parking lot. During this project, access will be maintained to all businesses. The contractor focusing first on completing the new connector road which will stretch from U.S. 60, between Sears and Old Navy, and across open fields before it connects to Olivet Church Road near Eva Drive. Work to improve the existing Olivet Church Road by widening it to a three-lane will not begin until this new connector road is significantly completed.
Significant Completion of Ring Road Section (posted 10-29-2015) - The contractor working on the section of the Olivet Church Road Project adjacent to Kentucky Oaks Mall has substantially completed that portion of the project. Ring Road will reopen to traffic at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 30, 2015. The signal on U.S. 60 at New Holt Road will be fully functional for all lanes of traffic. The contractor will continue to work on minor features adjacent to the curb and gutter; however, the road will be open to traffic. Work that would have disrupted traffic did not occur between November 1, 2015 and February 29, 2016 to avoid construction during the peak shopping time in the Kentucky Oaks Mall area.
Widening Section of Olivet Church Road (posted 5-5-2016) - The contractor working on the section of Olivet Church Road between Enterprise Drive and Shelldrake Lane will be reducing traffic to one lane on that section of road. Motorists should also expect traffic to be temporarily stopped at times under the control of a flagger to allow the maneuvering of construction crews and equipment. Drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes as this section of the project involves the widening of Olivet Church Road to three lanes with the addition of drainage improvements and sidewalks.
No Through Traffic on Section of Olivet Church Road (posted 5-26-2016) - Effective Tuesday, May 31, the contractor working on the section of Olivet Church Road between Kindred Avenue and James Sanders Boulevard will be closing that section of road to through traffic. Residents and patrons of businesses in that area still will be able to get to homes and businesses. This traffic limitation is expected to last through July. Drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes as this section of the project involves the widening of Olivet Church Road to three lanes with the addition of drainage improvements and sidewalks. City Engineer & Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “Reducing the volume of traffic on that portion of Olivet Church Road to local traffic only has two benefits. First and foremost, it’s for the safety of the workers who are working in a narrow area to construct drainage amenities, sidewalks, and new pavement. Also, reducing the traffic volume will expedite the construction process that more importantly will minimize the disruption to the traveling public.”
Five-Lane Section Opens to Traffic (posted 7-11-2016) - Effective during the evening of July 11, the five-lane section of the Olivet Church Road Improvement Project will open to traffic. This is the section of the project that stretches from New Holt Road at U.S. 60 (Hinkleville Road), runs along the west side of the Kentucky Oaks Mall, and ties into the existing five-lane section of Olivet Church Road. The road will open to traffic this evening after the contractor finishes striping the pavement. Since crews are continuing their work on the section of Olivet Church Road between U.S. 60 (Hinkleville Road) and Eva Drive, that roadway will remain closed to through traffic. Residents and patrons of businesses have access to homes and businesses. This section of the project involves the widening of Olivet Church Road to three lanes with the addition of drainage improvements and sidewalks.
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - A ribbon cutting celebration was held November 3, 2016.
Closing out the Project Contract (posted April 2017) - On April 18, 2017, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance to adopt Change Order #1 with Jim Smith Contracting Company, LLC for the construction of the Olivet Church Road Improvement Project. The change order REDUCES the contract by $114,000.95 which brings the total contract to $6,266.136.09. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet allocated $6.2 million toward the construction. The City’s responsibility for the construction is a little more than $66,000. City Engineer & Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “I think that is something that needs to be celebrated for a project this size.”
The aerial photo to the left shows the new stretch of road that was constructed from U.S. 60 to Olivet Church Road and how it ties into a section of Olivet Church Road that already has been improved to the north. The City of Paducah, McCracken County, and the State of Kentucky worked together to make major improvements along Olivet Church Road (KY 998). Discussion of the road improvements started in the late 1990s as the City and County planned Industrial Park West which is located off Olivet Church Road. The improvements were made in phases starting with the stretch of Olivet Church Road at the intersection with Cairo Road. The final phase was from James-Sanders Boulevard to U.S. Highway 60.
Increased traffic and new developments created the need for road improvements and access along and near Olivet Church Road. With the Kentucky Oaks Mall area receiving visitors from Southern Illinois and from people who live in Kentucky near the Ohio River, this improved roadway provides easier access to the mall area. Drivers entering Kentucky from Illinois are urged to exit Interstate-24 at exit 3 and turn right. Drivers will then turn left on Olivet Church Road and enter the Kentucky Oaks Mall from the back. This relieves the traffic in front of the mall and at exit 4. The road improvements also open the door for new commercial developments.
The existing Olivet Church Road near the intersection with U.S. Highway 60 to James-Sanders Boulevard was widened to three lanes with improved curbs and gutters. Also, near the intersection of Olivet Church Road and James-Sanders, a new stretch of road was constructed that heads southeast toward Kentucky Oaks Mall. This new five lane road ties into the intersection at Hinkleville Road and the existing New Holt Road. Click Olivet Church Road Project Map for a map that shows the project outline.
The project calls for the City and County to share the design and engineering costs for the realignment of the roadway, while the State of Kentucky pays the costs for right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, and construction. The State slated $2 million for right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation and $6.2 million for the construction.
|Photo showing the intersection of U.S. 60 and New Holt Road before construction.||Photo shows the intersection of U.S. 60 and New Holt Road after construction. Notice the five lane road that heads west of the mall toward Olivet Church Road.|