Contract Awarded to Complete Widening of I-65
Final six-lane segment scheduled to be finished by November 2018
By The News-Enterprise (reprinted with permission) http://www.thenewsenterprise.com/content/contract-awarded-complete-widening-i-65
Sunday, October 11, 2015
With the awarding of a final construction contract, Gov. Steve Beshear celebrated the eventual completion of one of his administration’s highest transportation priorities.
“When this final project has been completed, I-65 will be six lanes wide from the Ohio River to the Tennessee border,” Beshear said Friday. “Because of the importance of I-65 as a commercial and travel corridor, its widening will rank as one of the most significant investments ever made in the interest of business, efficiency and highway safety.”
Scotty’s Contracting and Stone of Glasgow submitted the low bid of $68.6 million – some $11 million less than the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s own estimate – for the job of widening I-65 from Sonora to the Western Kentucky Parkway interchange in Elizabethtown.
The contract calls for completion of the 10-mile segment by November 2018. Work continues on the Sonora to Munfordville section of the project.
The work is a tool for economic development, according to Rick Games, president of the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation.
“We will be terribly excited to see this happen,” Games said. “It certainly will make the entire interstate through Hardin County much safer.”
Games said taking six lanes worth of traffic and crunching it down to four causes safety issues. It is a much needed improvement for transportation and logistics , he said.
“We will be in for some headaches when the widening begins,” Games said, “but once it’s completed we will be so much better for it.”
State Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, agreed.
“I welcome today’s announcement,” Parrett said Friday. “In addition to improving traffic flow, it will make I-65 safer. We need to come together and do everything humanly possible to make this stretch of road less treacherous. I truly hope this project helps cut down on the number of wrecks on I-65.”
I-65 is one of the nation’s premier freight corridors with a heavy volume of commercial vehicle traffic. It also has been the scene of frequent and heavy traffic congestion with correspondingly high crash rates.
Greg Thompson can be reached at 270-505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.