2019: A Year of Progress on the Mountain Parkway Expansion

Dec 21, 2019

Credit Mountain Parkway Expansion

2019 has been a year filled with remarkable progress on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Mountain Parkway Expansion. The Parkway has seen milestones including the completion of the Restaurant Row segment, the beginning of the Magoffin County West segment as it was let for construction, and significant progress throughout the Morgan County segment.

“Crews have been working hard all year to keep projects on track, and to ensure that teams are ready to continue work where they left off when construction season begins again in the spring,” says Marshall Carrier, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s project manager for the Mountain Parkway Expansion. “Much was accomplished on the Parkway in 2019, and even more can be accomplished in 2020 if we continue at the pace we maintained throughout this year.”

With both the Magoffin County Central and Restaurant Row segments of the Parkway completed, and work on the Magoffin County West segment underway, the Mountain Parkway will consist of more than 20 miles of continuous roadway improvements ongoing or completed moving into 2020.

Restaurant Row

In mid-November, the new four-lane segment of the Mountain Parkway Expansion running through Salyersville’s Restaurant Row opened fully to traffic. This three-year project, accounting for 2.4 miles of roadway, marked the second section of the Parkway to be completed under KYTC’s Mountain Parkway Expansion.

The addition of the Restaurant Row segment marked the first extension of the Mountain Parkway since the Parkway was built in the early 1960’s and opened to the public as Kentucky’s second toll road in 1963. Beginning where the old Mountain Parkway had previously ended, the Restaurant Row segment extends through the business corridor of the town of Salyersville, to just east of the KY 114 junction at Rock House Road.

This segment was designed to widen the Parkway to four lanes, and to add new access roads running parallel to the Parkway to make it safer for vehicles to access businesses while moving through the town. While crews will still be working on finishing final touches in the coming months that will be less visible to the public, the Parkway itself, along with both the access roads, have been fully operational and open to traffic since mid-November.

Magoffin County West

The Magoffin County West segment marked the fourth segment of the Mountain Parkway Expansion project to move to construction, awarded to HI-VIEW LLC in late August.

When completed, the Magoffin County West segment of the Parkway will run from west of the Cutino-Hager Road overpass, to west of the Middle Fork of the Licking River Bridge, covering about 4.6 miles of roadway. The planned improvements include widening the parkway to four lanes between mile points 65 and 69.6, making safety improvements to a sharp curve around the mountain, and adding an interchange at KY 3046 (Kernie-Ova-Seitz Road) to provide local parkway access.

Crews began the excavation process this fall, clearing way for work on the roadway to begin during the 2020 construction season, once weather permits. This segment of the Parkway is anticipated to be completed by the end of the 2022 calendar year.

Morgan County Segment

The Morgan County segment stretches from the Lee City/West Liberty interchange, near Helechawa (Exit 57), to just west of the Cutino-Hager Road overpass.

The completed on-ramp near Helechawa, going westbound towards Lexington (Ramp D) opened last week to traffic. Crews are working to complete the off-ramp travelling westbound to KY 205 (Ramp C) before the end of the year.

The newly-constructed eastbound lanes near the Morgan/Magoffin County line were completed and paved this spring; in November, traffic was shifted onto those lanes to allow the team to begin the construction and widening of the new westbound lanes.

Meanwhile, crews have been hard at work pouring decks, setting beams, striping, and completing bridges in the area. This segment of the Parkway is anticipated to be complete by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

“The more progress we make month after month on the Parkway, the more people are beginning to experience the difference that these projects are making to drivers throughout Eastern Kentucky,” says Carrier. “As the Mountain Parkway Expansion advances, and we continue to complete and begin new segments, we get closer to our final goal of a safer and more accessible high-speed corridor for travelers in Eastern Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth.”

The Mountain Parkway Expansion is a 46-mile transportation improvement project that will create a wider, safer connection between Eastern Kentucky and the rest of the Commonwealth. It is a key transportation project designed to close the only gap in a 400-mile, four-lane, high-speed corridor for commerce and mobility across Kentucky from Pikeville to Paducah. The project will widen 30 miles of the existing parkway to four lanes and extend the parkway by about 16 miles between Salyersville and Prestonsburg.

(provided by Mountain Parkway Expansion)