A two-year road plan approved by the Kentucky General Assembly contains more than $125 million for Letcher County, including substantial funding for the U.S. 119 relocation and a new project to improve the entrances into Jenkins.
The plan allocates $80 million to relocate U.S. 119 between Partridge and Oven Fork. The funds will go to construction and buying some right-of-way this fiscal year, which ends June 30. Another $26 million will be used in the upcoming fiscal year and nearly $12.4 million more will be spent in the budget’s second year.
The work to ease traffic congestion in Jenkins is a new project, with $1.25 million set aside to improve KY 805 in town.
“Like the other major roadwork, this, too, is very much needed,” said State Rep. Leslie Combs. “It’s only fitting that this project is approved around the same time Jenkins is celebrating its centennial anniversary. This work will get the next 100 years started off right.”
The plan also calls for $4.5 million worth of bridge replacements over Kingscreek, Wright Fork, Rockhouse Creek, Elkhorn Creek and the North Fork of the Kentucky River. Some of these projects are preparing for construction, while others involving building the new bridges as well.
The road projects were announced late last week by Combs, State Rep. John Short and State Sen. Johnny Ray Turner.
“This is great news for Jenkins, the entire county and, really, much of the region, because these projects have been needed for quite some time,” said Combs, D-Pikeville. “I’m very pleased that we now have the funding to move these projects forward.”
“As a former coach, I know you have to have team work to win. Rep. Short, Rep. Combs and I work very well as a team. We play to win and to bring funds home to our district,” said Senator Turner, D-Prestonsburg. “It is satisfying, especially during this tough economic climate, to be able to move forward with much-need road projects in Letcher County. I am very pleased that we were able to secure $125 million for projects in Letcher County.”
“These projects will really help boost our local economy, both in the short term and in the years ahead,” said Rep. Short, D-Hindman. “I’m proud we could all work together to help make this possible.”