HAZARD — Besides the normal excuses for being late for work, school, or any other daily engagement, Perry Countians have had the added excuse of road work in the last month since major roads in the county have been undergoing construction projects.
H. B. Elkins, public information officer for the Kentucky Department of Highways for District 10, which includes Perry, said the reason for all of this road construction now is because the state transportation cabinet has awarded $24 million in multiple highway improvement contracts to the five counties in District 10, and the projects are now getting underway. Many of the projects have completion dates set for June of this year.
The major project many motorists in the county have been encountering since March is the rehabilitation of Highway 80 starting just past the Daniel Boone Plaza and ending at the Knott County line. Elkins said one lane of the highway has already been closed for some time, and the speed limit for that section of road has been reduced to 45 mph.
“Basically, this is a pavement rehabilitation project between the KY (Highway) 15/Hal Rogers Parkway interchange and the Knott County line. Most of the work will be done between the entrance to Walmart and the KY 1146 intersection,” Elkins explained. “There will be some delays at times when new drainage structures are installed.”
Elkins said turning lanes for East Perry Elementary, set to be finished in June, will also be part of the project.
“There will also be a traffic light installed at the intersection for the new school’s entrance,” he added.
The project to rehabilitate that section of the highway will cost approximately $8.4 million and is set to be completed by June 1, according to the transportation cabinet.
Another, smaller project in the county was also awarded funds for the contract. A $586,775.75 contract for pavement repairs to KY Highway 15 near the entrance to Hazard High School and to remove the bridge piers from the old pedestrian bridge at that location was completed last fall.
Elkins said motorists can find up-to-date information on any road projects by going to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Web site for District 10.