Online public hearing reveals next steps for 641 Connect, Eddyville to Fredonia

By Hayley Robb, Building Kentucky

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District 1 held a virtual public hearing last week to gather input from residents interested in 641 Connect, the improvement project on U.S. 641 between Eddyville and Fredonia.

The public hearing had 90 citizens in attendance and welcomed public comments to help guide the project’s next steps.

KYTC Chief Engineer Kyle Poat said public comments have been a critical part of the project over the last 15 years and will continue to assist engineers and design staff as they develop the preferred alternate route.

Improving freight movement and economic opportunities

In 2019, KYTC engineers announced a preliminary preferred alternate route aimed at improving safety and mobility along U.S. 641. The alternate maximizes the use of land owned by other state agencies and has since been adjusted slightly near the Fredonia Valley Quarry to utilize a section of the old railroad bed.

“The future growth of our business is contingent upon the completion of this project. Our customers complain and we lose business because truck drivers do not want to travel the current road. We appreciate a timely and efficient completion.”

Tim Capps, president of Par 4 Plastics and public hearing attendee

Project Manager Chris Kuntz said improving the road access for freight will be a tremendous economic improvement for the area.

“It will keep the jobs we have and hopefully create more new jobs for the area,” Kuntz said.

Project maps, graphics and the Environmental Assessment Draft can be found on the 641 Connect website at 641Connect.com.

Once complete, the new roadway between Eddyville and Fredonia will link with another U.S. 641 improvement project between Fredonia and Marion, bringing more economic development to the area and improving freight movement from I-24 to I-69 to Fredonia and further north.

Next steps

Here’s what the public can expect from this project moving forward.

  • Public comments will be accepted through August 6, 2021. To make a comment, citizens are encouraged to visit the project website at www.641connect.com/#comments.
  • Project Team to finalize the Environmental Document in September 2021
  • Anticipated final design will be announced in fall 2021
  • Right-of-way acquisitions will be discussed in 2023
  • Possible start of construction on the Lyon County end in 2025

To learn more about the 641 Connect project, visit 641Connect.com.

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