What’s ahead for Kentucky transportation in 2022

By Drew Roberts, Building Kentucky

President Biden’s signing of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in November marked the beginning of a transformative time for the United States. The law is the largest long-term investment in our nation’s infrastructure in nearly a century. It authorizes $550 billion designated for new spending, providing states the opportunity to apply for funding to complete much-needed projects.

Covering fiscal years 2022 through 2026, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide billions of dollars to repair and rebuild Kentucky’s roads and bridges. In addition, the Commonwealth is expected to receive funding for roadway safety, public transit, expanding the electric vehicle (EV) charging network, passenger and freight rail and airport upgrades.

A new companion bridge for the Brent Spence Bridge that connects northern Kentucky and Ohio is one of the most-discussed projects that will likely benefit from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. How and when Kentucky’s share of the federal funding will be specifically used for transportation projects will follow the state’s Highway Plan as enacted by the General Assembly. Kentucky has several major transportation projects that made significant progress in 2021 with exciting progress ahead in 2022.

Mountain Parkway Expansion

The Mountain Parkway Expansion project is widening the existing roadway to four lanes and will extend the Mountain Parkway to connect to U.S. 23 in Prestonsburg. Improving and widening the Parkway will provide safety along a vital corridor and close a high-speed transportation gap between eastern Kentucky and the rest of the Commonwealth.

Crews will continue work on the Magoffin County West segment in 2022, which includes a new alignment to eliminate a hazardous curve. The 11-mile Wolfe County segment is scheduled to be let for construction in April. Learn more about this project at MtnParkway.com.

Bridge piers for the new alignment of the Mountain Parkway near mile marker 66.

I-Move Kentucky

I-Move Kentucky is the state’s innovative approach to improving the safety, ease of travel and quality of life for travelers and businesses that frequently use I-265, I-71 and I-64 in Louisville by increasing lane capacity and improving ramps and interchanges. Using a four-projects-in-one approach, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is addressing some of its highest-priority transportation needs simultaneously.

Work in 2022 builds on the progress completed in 2021 with ongoing work to widen I-265 and I-71 and improve the I-71/I-265 and I-64/I-265 interchanges.  More information about the project is available at I-Moveky.com.

Crews installing drainage pipes along I-71.

Sherman Minton Renewal

The Sherman Minton Renewal is a major rehabilitation of the Sherman Minton Bridge – a vital link between Indiana and Kentucky that carries thousands across the river each day. The project includes replacement or refurbishment of all bridge decks, rehabilitation or replacement of structural steel elements and hanger cables, installation of new lighting, repairs to drainage and painting of the steel components.

Nearly 20% of painting work was complete in 2021 and painting continues through all phases of work. Phase 1 began in 2021 and will continue through the spring of 2022. Phase II includes ongoing work on the eastbound lower deck. Phase III is planned for late 2022 and includes work on the westbound upper deck. Learn more at ShermanMintonRenewal.com.

The Sherman Minton Bridge is currently under construction.

Bridging Kentucky

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Bridging Kentucky program works to improve the safety and soundness of bridges across the Commonwealth. The program has identified 1,000 bridges in need of repair or replacement in all 120 counties of Kentucky. More than 300 crossings have been repaired or replaced through the Bridging Kentucky program.

In 2022, Bridging Kentucky will continue to improve bridges in critical condition to make crossings safer, more reliable and more accessible for Kentuckians statewide. Catch up on the project at BridgingKentucky.com.

New McMalls Mill bridge is located in Fayette County.

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