“Our roads aren’t red or blue. They’re for the people of Kentucky and the millions of visitors that come to our great state,” said Gray, representing Governor Andy Beshear. “The Beshear administration knows that well-built and well-maintained transportation infrastructure is a key that unlocks economic development opportunities and adds to the quality of life in Kentucky.”
The event marked the completion of two new interchanges at the juncture of KY 80 and KY 461, two routes that see steady streams of traffic, including vacationers going to and from Lake Cumberland. Also in the project is the widening to four lanes of more than three miles of KY 461.
“This monumental transportation project is a stamp of economic success and growth for southern and eastern Kentucky, and we’re far from finished,” said Congressman Rogers, who is Dean of the House. “Southern Kentucky needs a four-lane highway that runs east to west, attracting new business and tourism dollars through the most beautiful parts of our state. We are making significant progress towards that goal as we continue strategic planning across the federal, state, and local levels.”
The KY80/461 project, a $51 million investment, was funded in part with a $25 million federal grant from the program known as BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development). The remaining $26 million came from state-federal apportionment and a local match. While most of the funds went to the two interchanges and lane widening, funds also will be used to purchase new intelligent transportation systems including improved lighting, electronic messaging boards, camera monitoring systems, and upgraded signage.
Construction began in late 2020 after the announcement of the competitive BUILD grant and other federal funding for the project was released in early 2019.