A critical infrastructure project for eastern Kentucky and a priority for Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration is advancing to construction six months ahead of schedule. Today Gov. Beshear announced that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) recently awarded a contract to widen 11 miles of the Mountain Parkway in Wolfe County to Bizzack Construction Company. This project is part of the 46-mile Mountain Parkway Expansion, a transformational project to improve highway safety and support economic development in the region.
“Year after year, our commitment to the Mountain Parkway Expansion and the people of eastern Kentucky reaches new milestones. Selecting a contractor to begin the next phase of construction is another sign of progress,” Gov. Beshear said. “Widening 11 miles of the parkway in Wolfe County from two lanes to four will make travel safer and faster for residents, visitors and freight vehicles as we continue to move eastern Kentucky forward.”
The project runs from Mountain Parkway mile points 45.8 to 56.8, between Campton and Helechawa. In addition to doubling the travel lanes, this construction project will modernize two interchanges: KY 191/Campton (Exit 46) and KY 1010/Hazel Green (Exit 53).
“The Wolfe County segment of the Mountain Parkway Expansion is the final piece to making the current parkway four lanes all the way from Winchester through Salyersville – 78 continuous miles,” said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “Since securing a $55 million federal INFRA grant for Wolfe County in 2020, the project team has worked hard to get plans in place, ready for construction. I am proud to report that KYTC and its partners reached this milestone six months ahead of the initial schedule expectations outlined by the INFRA grant. For a project this large, that’s a huge success.”
Bizzack Construction submitted a low bid of $97,116,898 for the Wolfe County contract, which was below the state’s estimate. Construction crews will break ground later this summer.
The Mountain Parkway Expansion is divided into six construction segments; Wolfe County will be the fifth and longest so far. Three construction segments are complete and one is currently under construction in Magoffin County.
“The 4.6 miles of construction in our Magoffin West segment includes a new alignment of the parkway and a new interchange. We are on track to complete this project in 2023,” said Mountain Parkway Expansion project manager Aric Skaggs.
Last summer, Gov. Beshear, state and local officials celebrated the opening of the widened Mountain Parkway in Morgan County, which covered eight miles of roadway. The Salyersville/Restaurant Row segment was completed in 2019, and the 5.7-mile Magoffin Central segment opened in 2018. In total, nearly 21 miles of parkway have been completed or are under construction.
KYTC continues to work on plans to extend the Mountain Parkway 14 miles from Salyersville to Prestonsburg. Fieldwork has been underway this spring along the final segment, KY 114, to gather geotechnical and environmental information necessary for advancing the project.
Gov. Beshear is committed to building a better Kentucky through transportation to improve safety, spur the economy and improve the quality of life for Kentuckians. In 2020, the Beshear administration secured a $55 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund the Wolfe County segment of the Mountain Parkway Expansion project in eastern Kentucky, and completed the Morgan County Segment in the fall of 2021.
Governor Beshear pledged to fight for every available federal dollar to build a toll-free companion bridge next to the Brent Spence Bridge in northern Kentucky to improve safety and travel along one of the most critical national corridors. In 2020, Governor Beshear included funding in his six-year state highway plan to construct Section 1 of the I-69 Ohio River Crossing in western Kentucky, extending I-69 by more than six miles and providing key approach work in Kentucky needed for the future bridge crossing.
Click here for a video from Gov. Andy Beshear announcing the contract.