Sentinel-Echo.com

Local News

July 31, 2007

Officials approve I-66 route

Alternate M chosen to connect London to Somerset

After more than six years of community discussions and engineering and environmental studies, a preferred route has been selected for the Interstate 66 project, running from Interstate 75 in London to east of Somerset.

The Transportation Cabinet, Department of Highways, chose Alternate M for Laurel County and Alternate K-Shifted for Pulaski County.

Alternate M — in Laurel County, east of the Rockcastle River —uses three miles of the existing KY 80 corridor before turning southeast near Bernstadt. Alternate M then crosses KY 192 near Willie Green and Maple Grove roads before connecting with I-75 just south of Autumn Ridge subdivision.

Alternate K-Shifted — in Pulaski County — begins at the proposed northern bypass project and runs south of Shopville before turning north to rejoin the existing KY 80 corridor.

From east of Shopville, Alternate K-Shifted parallels KY 80 while using the existing KY 80 roadway as a frontage road.

It then transitions back to KY 80 about 4,000 feet past Tommy Rock Church before crossing the Rockcastle River at the existing KY 80 bridge.

The selected alternates, M and K-Shifted, use a lengthy portion of the existing KY 80 corridor, without hurting Shopville and other communities. The alternates also minimize impacts to the Daniel Boone National Forest and other sensitive environmental areas, balancing community concerns and impacts to the natural environment.

An open house is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 27 at the London Community Center for the community members interested in the section that will be running through Laurel County; and another meeting is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Center for rural Development in Somerset for the Pulaski County community members.

There will be no formal presentation at the meetings, therefore the public can attend at their convenience.

Department personnel and consultants will be available to show the preferred alternatives. Exhibits will include aerial photographs depicting the selected alignment.

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