(Editor's note: The following report was provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet)
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.
The project will widen 30 miles of the existing parkway from two lanes to four lanes, and will extend the parkway another 16 miles between Salyersville and Prestonsburg.
This periodic report includes information on work underway on the Mountain Parkway Expansion. Inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances could affect planned activities.
Construction and clearing activities are continuing along a nearly 6-mile stretch of the Mountain Parkway to the west of Salyersville.
The project, described as the Magoffin County West Segment, runs from just west of mile point 70 to just east of mile point 75 of the Mountain Parkway.
The speed limit in the area has been reduced to 45 mph. Traffic on the parkway may be slowed or stopped periodically for the safety of workers and travelers.
KY 30 interchange
Crews are continuing significant clearing and site work around the current KY 30 interchange near mile point 72 of the parkway and starting construction in the area. The project includes modernizing and improving the KY 30 interchange as well as realigning and widening about 2½ miles of roadway.
This week, traffic was shifted about 20 feet to the south side of the roadway to allow crews to continue blasting to make way for a new westbound ramp from KY 30 onto the Mountain Parkway. Traffic may be slowed in this area, but no significant impact is expected.
A temporary traffic signal also was recently put in place near the interchange to allow waste material to be transported from one side of the Mountain Parkway to a dumping area on the other side.
Crews recently finished pouring concrete for an 840-foot culvert, and they continue working to backfill the culvert. Excavation will continue before building the base for this portion of the new Mountain Parkway roadway between Exits 72 and 75 of the parkway. Sewer and water lines are also being installed, which is expected to continue for approximately two more weeks.
Gifford Road interchange
Excavation work is nearly complete near Gifford Road, where a new interchange is being built and the roadway is being widened to four lanes. The interchange will provide new access to and from the Mountain Parkway and serve an industrial park planned just to the north of the interchange.
Crews recently finished work on the new Gifford Road overpass bridge that will carry traffic over the parkway. The bridge is expected to undergo final inspection within the next week and open to traffic later this year.
Workers recently poured concrete for the foundation of the piers of a bridge that will carry westbound traffic on the Mountain Parkway over the Middle Fork of the Licking River. Crews this week began putting forms in place to build the piers for the bridge, and the deck of the bridge likely will be put in place this spring.
During the coming weeks, crews also will be working to install the remainder of a culvert under the old Mountain Parkway near the Gifford Road interchange.
Current work is not expected to have any significant impact on traffic. After completion, the Mountain Parkway in this section will be expanded to provide four-lane access.
Crews continue working to build the columns of an overpass at the KY 7/Salyersville interchange, located immediately west of Salyersville’s Restaurant Row area.
Excavation work also continues to prepare for additional construction, with a total of about 5 million yards of dirt to be moved. Excavation work is scheduled to be completed by spring.