U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers has secured $750,000 to fund the design study for improvements to U.S. 25 south of London.

Rogers announced the money has been included in the FY 2010 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, which was approved by the House of Representatives July 23. The bill must still be approved by the Senate.

“Expanding U.S. 25 is key to solving the problems that plague this stretch of road,” Rogers said.

John Dobson, public information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 11 in Manchester, said the design study will involve engineers examining the nine-mile stretch between London and Corbin to determine where and what improvements are needed to improve traffic flow and safety. Traffic surveys have shown between 13,000 and 15,000 vehicles travel that section of road each day.

“Following the design study, the next step would be purchase of right-of-ways and utility relocation,” Dobson said.

No funding has been allocated for that phase, Dobson said.

The project was included in the 2008 state highway plan.

Rogers said the project is essential to additional economic development in the area.

“We need to be looking to build the physical infrastructure not simply for today, but for the future so our region can compete and our talented young people can find good paying jobs, start innovative businesses, and raise healthy families,” Rogers said.

Staff writer Dean Manning may be reached at dmanning@sentinel-echo.com.

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