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Kentucky awarded $67.5 million for Northern KY interchanges

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 08, 2018) – INFRA grant funds safety, mobility improvements in Boone County

One of the Commonwealth’s most heavily traveled freight corridors will be revitalized thanks to a $67.5 million INFRA grant awarded to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) for I-71/I-75 interchange improvements in Boone County. Kentucky’s project is one of 26 projects issued the grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation to address critical issues facing the nation’s aging infrastructure.

“State funds are critical in competing for federal grants,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas. “The collective financial stake of $83.4 million from traditional state and federal funds, as well as local and private funds, made this grant request a strong contender. I would like to thank Gov. Bevin for his support of this project and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for her continued partnership in moving Kentucky’s infrastructure forward. I also thank U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and U.S. Rep.Thomas Massie for their roles in supporting the project. We are eager to make progress on these critical improvements that promote the Cabinet’s safety mission, support job growth and enhance the quality of life for residents in the region.”

The project will improve mobility for those who live and work in the area by converting both the existing KY 338 diamond interchange and the existing KY 536 diamond interchange to double crossover diamond interchanges and by reconstructing the existing U.S. 25 and KY 338 intersection to a single-point urban interchange. Safety improvements and traffic delays will be addressed by eliminating two at-grade rail crossings and constructing an overpass railroad bridge for the Norfolk Southern line.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell contacted the U.S. Department of Transportation to support his constituent’s competitive federal grant application. “I was proud to work with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore to help secure this $67.5 million federal investment in the Commonwealth” said Senator McConnell. “Once this project is completed, the improved interstate will better serve the entire region – not only by making travel safer and more efficient for passenger vehicles but also by supporting commercial freight transportation which is vital to thousands of workers at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). As this part of our state continues to see new growth and economic development, I am pleased that this major interstate project can help us reach our full potential.”

U.S. Senator Rand Paul added: “After meeting with local leaders and community members about moving this project forward, I was happy to support their efforts to secure the necessary federal funding. As a longtime advocate for spending money on projects here at home rather than abroad, I am thrilled that Kentucky will benefit from the critical infrastructure improvements made possible by this grant, and look forward to continuing my efforts to bring our money home for projects here in this country.”

The total future estimated cost of the project is $150.9 million. In addition to the INFRA grant, a combination of traditional state and federal funds, as well as local Boone County Fiscal Court funds and private funds, will pay for the remainder of the project.

“This award for major reconstruction of these two I-75/71 interchanges and additional interstate lanes in Boone County will have a tremendously favorable impact on traffic congestion, safety and the movement of goods and services along this corridor,” said Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore. “These grant resources will support the significant economic development activity occurring here in Boone County and result in continuing job creation and private investment. We commend Transportation Secretary Chao for the use of federal resources that will pay dividends to local communities and extend our gratitude to Senator McConnell, Senator Paul, Representative Massie and Governor Bevin for their unwavering support of this critical infrastructure project.”

Project improvements

  • Replacement of the existing conventional diamond I-71/I-75 interchanges at KY 338 (Richwood Road) and KY 536 (Mt. Zion Road) with double crossover diamond (DCD) interchanges. These improvements eliminate bottlenecks and improve safety;
  • Reconstruction of the intersection of U.S. 25 and KY 338 just east of the I-71/I-75 interchange with KY 338 to construct a Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI), eliminating two at-grade rail crossings;
  • Construction of northbound and southbound auxiliary lanes along I-71/I-75 north of the KY 536 interchange (MP 178.039 to MP 180.06); and
  • Enhancements including minor widening along KY 536 and KY 338 to accommodate turn lanes, intersection improvements, access management and non-motorized transportation improvements.

Construction for portions of the project will begin in 2019. The estimated completion for the entire project is the winter of 2021.

Senate Panel Advances Transportation Funding Increases

The Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) and Related Appropriations Subcommittee June 5 unanimously approved legislation that would boost federal highway investment by $1.8 billion in FY 2019. This growth would come on top of a $3.4 billion increase in FY 2018 and result in a 12.2 percent increase over the last two years.
 
The measure includes a combination of transportation investment increases stemming from the 2015 FAST Act surface transportation reauthorization law and the two-year funding agreement reached earlier this year that calls for at least $10 billion in supplemental infrastructure investments from the federal general fund. Transportation construction programs received a total of $4.85 billion from this agreement in FY 2018.
 
While the text of the legislation is not yet available, THUD Subcommittee Chairman Susan Collins’ (R-Maine) opening statement highlighted details about the bill’s content.
 
  • The measure would provide the full $900 million highway funding increase authorized by the FAST Act and then adds an additional $3.3 billion in general funds for a total highway investment level of $48.57 billion.
  • The Transit Capital Investment Grant Program, which supports heavy and light rail transit construction projects, would receive $2.6 billion–$300 million more than called for by the FAST Act.
  • The Airport Improvement Program would receive an additional $750 million from the federal general fund on top of the $3.35 billion previously authorized from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to support airport capital improvements.
  • The measure would provide $1 billion in BUILD Grants–$500 million less than in FY 2018, but $500 million more than FY 2017.
 
A summary of the Senate proposal and its comparison to previous years and authorized investment levels is below.
Federal Transportation Construction Investment
Subcommittee Chairman Collins emphasized that the additional resources from the general fund are not a replacement of existing programs and urged the Trump Administration and the congressional authorizing committees to work for a timely reauthorization of the FAST Act that ensures the long-term stability of the Highway Trust Fund.
 
The House Appropriations Committee May 23 approved an FY 2019 transportation funding measure that, among other things, fully funded the FAST Act’s authorization levels and provided an additional $5.25 in supplemental transportation funding. By comparison the total additional resource in the Senate measure is $4.85 billion—the same level as the final FY 2018 bill.
 
While the popular narrative is that nothing is going to happen on infrastructure in 2018, the fact remains that the annual appropriations process for the current and coming fiscal years will likely provide nearly $10 billion in federal transportation infrastructure investment beyond what was anticipated at the beginning of the year. These developments may be short of a $1 trillion infrastructure package, but they are the largest increases at the federal level since the 2009 economic stimulus package.
 
The full Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to act on the FY 2019 transportation appropriations bill June 7.

White House Revisits Federal Gas Tax Increase

The White House is revisiting an increase in the federal gas tax to pay for infrastructure improvements President Trump promised to deliver on the campaign trail.

That news was conveyed to House members on October 25th in a meeting by Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn.

“Probably whatever we end up being able to do in Washington, it’s going to take administration leadership to get out there and push for it,” said a GOP House staff member familiar with the long-standing resistance to a gas tax hike by many congressional Republicans.

Read more at The Washington Post.

2018 PAIKY Winter Training School

WINTER TRAINING SCHOOL REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

The premier industry training event in Kentucky rolls on for it’s 32nd year.  The 2018 PAIKY Winter Training School will take place Feb. 28th – March 2nd, 2018 at the Downtown Louisville Marriott. The schedule is still under construction but expect the same basic schedule of starting at 1pm on Wed. the 28th and wrapping up at noon on Fri. the 2nd. We hope you can be there with us! See the latest draft agenda by clicking this link.

Register Here!

Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition Launches Online Presence

KICKStartKY-logo-webIn order to remain vital and relevant, Kentucky must care for it’s infrastructure. The beneficial impact that a good transportation system has on it’s citizens and businesses is huge. That is why the Plantmix Asphalt Industry of Kentucky (PAIKY) has joined together with manufacturers, farmers, engineers, local leaders and more than 40,000 transportation workers who understand that safe, reliable, efficient transportation is essential to Kentucky’s economy. The Coalition supports long-term, sustainable funding that provides adequate revenues for all modes of transportation so our state can maintain the infrastructure we have today and build what we need for our future.

The Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition (KIC) also has an online presence that will help to spread its message and help educate Kentuckians about what the true impact of our transportation system is and why we must act soon to correct our funding crisis. Visit the website (www.kickstartky.com) to learn more and follow KIC on social media to keep updated on the latest news and information concerning Kentucky’s infrastructure. 

KIC on Facebook     KIC on Twitter

Working Group on Kentucky’s Transportation Infrastructure

FRANKFORT, KY – June 28, 2017

Speaker Jeff Hoover announced the creation of the Working Group on Kentucky’s Transportation Infrastructure, consisting of nine members from the Kentucky House of Representatives. The bipartisan group is charged with ensuring Kentucky’s transportation infrastructure is safe, effective and able to support the state’s business and jobs growth, particularly in the fast-growing manufacturing sector.

“Kentucky is blessed with a prime geographic location for transportation logistics, which is incredibly valuable when it comes to moving products,” said Speaker Hoover. “For us to become the country’s prime advanced manufacturing hub, it is vital that we fund roads and bridges to a level that will allow us to handle increased transportation demands.”

Since 2014, Kentucky’s road fund revenue has declined at a steady clip. From 2014 to 2016, the annual road fund revenue declined by a whopping $78 million, which put the road fund cash balance in jeopardy and forced the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to implement the Pause 50 initiative last year, which stopped all phases of new state-funded projects, including design, right of way/utilities and construction for the first year of a two-year period. Additionally, road fund revenues have been forecast to fall another $25 million in 2017.

“In today’s market of more fuel-efficient vehicles and a nearly 10-year low in gasoline prices, both of which have squeezed road fund revenues, it’s more important than ever to find ways to fund the future of our infrastructure,” added Speaker Hoover. “As Speaker, I am committed to joining Governor Bevin to make Kentucky the advanced manufacturing hub in the country, and the best possible transportation system is absolutely necessary to do so. Additionally, every single business and Kentuckian relies on safe, effective roadways just to go about their daily life.”

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 31.4% of Kentucky’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, while 34% of our roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Additionally, it is estimated that around 2020, the loss of toll credits will require that more state funds be used to match federal transportation funding.

The working group will be chaired by Rep. Sal Santoro, R-Florence, and Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg. Other members include Rep. Bart Rowland, R-Tompkinsville, Rep. Phil Moffett, R-Louisville, Rep. Chad McCoy, R-Bardstown, Rep. Marie Rader, R-McKee, Rep. Matt Castlen, R-Maceo, Rep. Attica Scott, D-Louisville, and Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg.

“Kentucky’s roads and bridges are simply not in the condition they should be to support our robust economy, particularly in my logistical hot bed of Northern Kentucky, where we have multiple major highways and bridges,” said Sal Santoro, Co-Chairman of the Working Group. “I applaud Speaker Hoover for taking the reins on this vastly important issue for all of Kentucky, and showing the type of leadership we have lacked for years. I am confident this group will begin finding solutions immediately to begin moving our transportation infrastructure in the right direction.”

The group is set to begin work immediately, and will release its schedule to the public as soon as it’s available.

TRIP Report, “Kentucky Transportation by the Numbers”, Released

KENTUCKY MOTORISTS LOSE $4 BILLION ANNUALLY ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES – AS MUCH AS $1,900 PER DRIVER, COSTS WILL RISE AND CONDITIONS WILL WORSEN WITHOUT INCREASED FUNDING

Deficient roads in KY cost motorists $4B per year in additional cots.

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Kentucky motorists a total of $4 billion statewide annually – as much as $1,899 per driver in some urban areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Kentucky, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, “Kentucky Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Kentucky, 16 percent of major, locally and state-maintained urban roads are in poor condition and eight percent of Kentucky’s locally and state-maintained bridges are structurally deficient. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And, more than 3,500 people were killed in crashes on Kentucky’s roads from 2011 to 2015.

Driving on Kentucky’s roads costs drivers a total of $4 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Bowling Green, Lexington, Louisville, Northern Kentucky and Owensboro urban areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

VOC Safety Congestion TOTAL
Bowling Green $85 $395 $325 $805
Lexington $278 $351 $656 $1,285
Louisville $519 $332 $1,048 $1,899
Northern KY $495 $210 $989 $1,694
Owensboro $368 $362 $335 $1,065
STATEWIDE TOTAL $1 billion $1.4 billion $1.6 billion $4 billion

The TRIP report finds that 16 percent of Kentucky’s major urban roads are in poor condition, while 44 percent are in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 40 percent are in good condition. Driving on rough roads costs Kentucky drivers $1 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Traffic congestion in Kentucky is worsening, particularly in the state’s largest urban areas. Kentucky drivers lose $1.6 billion annually in the form of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.
Eight percent of Kentucky’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components.

Traffic crashes in Kentucky claimed the lives of 3,538 people between 2011 and 2015. Kentucky’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.56 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is the fourth highest in the nation and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.

The efficiency and condition of Kentucky’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $502 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Kentucky, mostly by truck. Seventy-six percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Kentucky are carried by trucks and another 13 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the state and local levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, Kentucky’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth and quality of life of the state’s residents.”

ATSSF Announces 2016 Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship Recipients

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (June 21, 2016) – The American Traffic Safety Services Foundation (The Foundation), which exists to raise public awareness for roadway work zone safety across the country, recently awarded new 2016 Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarships to five students. The scholarships are awarded to dependents of workers, who were killed or permanently disabled in roadway work zone crashes, to help assist them in continuing their academic goals. Additionally, scholarship recipients who demonstrate a strong commitment to volunteerism are also eligible for a $1,000 scholarship in honor of former American Traffic Safety Services Association member Chuck Bailey, who was killed in a tragic highway accident in 2002.

The 2016 recipients are:

Andrea Pair, of Oklahoma, who attends Carl Albert State College in Poteau, Okla. Pair will also receive an additional scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for her volunteer work. Pair’s father, Shannon, worked for Time Striping Inc. in Arkansas when he was removing pavement marking from a highway, and a vehicle struck and killed him. Pair was two years old when her father died at the age of 31.

Lyndsay Sutton (nee Morgan), of Florida, attends Florida Gulf Coast University. Sutton will also receive an additional $1,000 for her volunteer work. Her father, Steven, was employed by DBi Services when he was killed by a motorist who lost control of his vehicle during a work zone traffic slowdown in 2011.

Rachael Moser, of the District of Columbia, who attends Harvard Graduate School of Education, received a scholarship. Moser’s father, Richard, was employed by the Maryland State Highway Administration when he was killed after being struck by a pickup truck in 2007.

Brionna Lizotte, of Missouri, who attends Truman State University, also in Missouri, received a scholarship. Her father, Gerald, was transporting materials from a worksite for his job with the Missouri Department of Transportation when he was hit by a vehicle, resulting in his death.

Hayden Gonyer, of New Hampshire, attends Universal Technical Institute in Massachusetts. His father, Robert, worked for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, where he was placing cones as part of a lane closure. He fell from the back of a pickup truck and died as a result of his injuries.

To learn more about the Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship program and to download an application, visit www.atssa.com/TheFoundation.

Looking at Transportation Funding Beyond the Gas Tax

Infrastructure Week discussions delved into options for offsetting declines in gasoline and diesel tax revenues. Is taxing vehicle mileage the answer? Oregon has experimented since last July with a vehicle-miles-traveled program, which allows up to 5,000 motorists to pay a 1.5 cents-per-mile charge, instead of fuel tax.

Odometer Image

“It’s actually not a foreign concept,” Joung Lee, policy director for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, told an audience that included state lawmakers, as he discussed mileage-based taxes last Thursday.

Lee likened per-mile taxation to paying for electricity or water in a home.

“If you use a lot, you’re going to pay a lot,” he said. “I think that kind of linkage is really missing when we’re talking about the transportation investment and the funding in this country.”

But Oregon state Sen. Fred Girod, a Republican who represents a rural district that stretches east of Salem, pointed out that mileage-based taxes continue to stoke privacy concerns, with some people troubled by the idea of the government collecting information about their driving habits.

“That is the push back, really hard, is the confidentiality of the information,” he said during the event where Lee spoke.

Read the full article here at routefifty.com

KYTC Announces Long-awaited New Leadership Appointments

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Greg Thomas today announced Patty Dunaway, P.E., will serve as state highway engineer. Dunaway becomes the second woman in Cabinet history to assume the role.Patty_Dunaway

 “Patty’s extensive career in engineering will help shape our strategic vision for improving Kentucky’s vast transportation network,” said Sec. Thomas. “I look forward to working with Patty and her talented team as we begin to address the budgetary challenges facing the Cabinet.”

Patty began her career at KYTC as a scholarship student in 1990, working summers out of the Lexington and Elizabethtown district offices. During her 26 year career at the Cabinet, she worked in various areas including construction, design, planning and most recently, serving as chief district engineer for the District Four highway office in Elizabethtown since 2006. 

“I am very thankful for this opportunity and honored to continue to serve Kentucky alongside the great employees of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet,” said Dunaway.

Dunaway has been involved with various planning studies including the Heartland Parkway and the U.S. 31W Safety Corridor. She has managed the Safety Program and the annual Rural Secondary Program for District Four. Dunaway initiated the I-65 Incident Management Team and was responsible for overseeing the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) highway projects at Ft. Knox as well as the remaining 30 mile widening project of I-65 to six lanes.

Throughout her career, she served as district coordinator for the Kentucky Engineering Exposure Network (KEEN) and the director for the Kentucky Association of Transportation Engineers. In 2011, Dunaway was named the University of Kentucky’s Young Engineer of the Year.

Dunaway holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky.

She lives in Leitchfield with her husband Jerry and has two daughters, Dawn and Tara, who attend the University of Louisville. The appointment is effective May 1.

The state highway engineer oversees the Department of Highways, which is responsible for 12 highway districts as well as numerous offices and divisions. More information can be found at http://transportation.ky.gov/Organizational-Resources/Organizational%20Charts/Highways.pdf 

Barber named deputy state highway engineer for Project Delivery and Preservation

Andy Barber, P.E., of Louisville, will serve as the deputy state highway engineer for Project Delivery and Preservation.

Andy-BarberPrior to his appointment, Barber was an assistant state highway engineer serving as project manager for the $2.3 billion Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project. Barber began his career at the Cabinet as a scholarship student in 2001. He previously served as deputy project manager for the Bridges Project, project manager for the Milton Madison Bridge Replacement Project and as a resident engineer in the Cabinet’s Lexington district.

Barber received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. Business First of Louisville named Barber “Forty Under 40” in 2012.

Andy, his wife Jennifer, and daughters Molly and Lucy make their home in Louisville.

Paul Looney, P.E., of Frankfort, will serve as the deputy state highway engineer for Project Development.Paul_Looney

Paul also began his career at the Cabinet as a KYTC scholarship student. Looney spent 16 years in the Division of Highway Design as a pavement engineer and the pavement branch manager for six years. Paul currently serves as an assistant state highway engineer working primarily in project development. He has been the project manager for the Interstate 69 project since 2014.

Looney received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky.  In 2015, Looney helped develop the Project Manager’s Boot Camp.

Paul, his wife Natalie, and their son Lachlan reside in Frankfort.

Both appointments are effective May 1.

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