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Heartland Parkway board hears alternatives

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Could speed progress by saving dramatically on construction costs

By Linda Waggener

 

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The Heartland Parkway Foundation Board of Directors had a progress update meeting recently in Campbellsville University’s Virginia Ponser Flanagan Technology Training Center.

The proposed connector road from the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway north of Springfield to the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway at Columbia is to serve as a major north-south connector opening up the heartland of Kentucky and help facilitate in the economic diversification and quality of life in the region.

Gary W. Sharpe, project representative for Palmer Engineering, the company that has done planning with the project for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, presented a two-plus-one, known as 2+1, alternative that could speed progress by saving dramatically on construction costs. 

This would mean the addition of a third lane to move traffic more smoothly and safely as opposed to holding out for four full lanes.

Sharp said, “The 2+1 option is being used across the country as an option to enhance existing roads. This can be done within current rights of way, thus significantly lowering costs.”

By moving to this type expansion, he said, the project could possibly see portions of the project done over the next couple of years. 

After discussion of the maps and facts presented by Sharp, Heartland Parkway foundation chair John Chowning opened the floor by asking for a motion that the Board support the 2+1 plan and encourage legislators to work for funding of a design build from Columbia to Springfield.

Board member Sue Stivers, Columbia/Adair County Chamber of Commerce and tourism executive director, made the motion, which was seconded by Washington County Judge/Executive John Settles. 

The motion was unanimously approved.

“This greatly expedites the likelihood of a major upgrade of this important highway corridor in the relative near future. With federal and state aid funds limited this is the best option available. We fully support it,” Chowning said.