Kentucky Governor 2024 Recommended Highway Plan Outlines 6-Year Proposal
Funding supports safe upkeep of infrastructure and regional transportation improvements
AMTV, FRANKFORT, Ky. Jan. 17 – Gov. Andy Beshear delivered a 2024 Recommended Highway Plan featuring more than 1,300 projects to build a better Kentucky by investing state and federal dollars in maintaining and building a safe transportation system that improves the quality of life for Kentuckians.
The Governor’s highway plan is a practical action guide to prioritize road and bridge maintenance projects, as well as new construction in the biennium and following four years. The six-year plan has three focus areas:
Taking care of existing roads and bridges;
Executing construction projects to upgrade our transportation system, including the Governor’s three priority projects – a Brent Spence companion bridge in Northern Kentucky, the I-69 Ohio River Crossing in Western Kentucky and the Mountain Parkway Expansion Project in Eastern Kentucky; and
Honoring past bridge and road commitments and advancing ongoing projects.
“This plan blends data-informed recommendations and our values of taking care of our people by keeping roads and bridges safe for Kentucky families,” said Gov. Beshear. “It also includes funding to move forward on long-awaited, transformative projects that support a strong economy, like four-laning the Mountain Parkway, constructing a Brent Spence companion bridge with no tolls and building a new I-69 bridge.”
The recommended highway plan is based on anticipated revenues of $8.65 billion through 2030 – $7.7 billion in federal-aid highway program funding and the required state match plus $950 million in anticipated state road fund revenues. During the 2024 General Assembly, funding for the first two years of the highway plan will be authorized.
The plan includes almost $600 million yearly in state and federal funding to address pavement and bridge repairs. Kentucky owns and maintains over 9,000 bridges and over 63,000 lane-miles of pavement. That’s the seventh-largest bridge system and eighth-largest pavement system in the nation.
“Our first-things-first approach to keep infrastructure safe and sound demonstrates responsible stewardship,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray. “While a significant portion of the plan focuses on addressing pavement and bridge needs, we’re proud of our work to ensure regionally diverse projects that support economic development.”
Some featured projects include investments to:
Construct a new access road in McCracken County to the Ohio River Megapark;
Four-lane U.S. Highway 27 from north of Lancaster to Kentucky Highway 34 in Garrard County;
Reconstruct Kentucky Highway 115 from the Industrial Park near Pembroke to Interstate Highway 24 in Christian County;
Replace the R.J. Corman railroad overpass on North Broadway in Fayette County; and
Widen Interstate Highway 75 to six lanes at Corbin in Whitley and Laurel counties.
To enhance highway safety, the plan includes $14.45 million in the biennium to install approximately 65 miles of guardrail across Kentucky. Nearly half of these roughly 200 projects are in Eastern Kentucky, a region known for steep slopes and curvy roads. For example, Harlan County has 10 projects totaling nearly 10 miles of guardrail.
In the spirit of keeping assets in a state of good repair, the plan proposes $5 million per year to repair rest areas. It also includes $10 million per year to expand truck parking at interstate rest areas to offer drivers a safe place off the highway to recharge.
Inflationary pressures across the construction industry have increased costs, further stretching available dollars. Approximately 40% of highway plan funds are directed to investments in existing highway pavements, guardrails and bridges.
Complementing the highway plan, Gov. Beshear’s state budget proposal included $50 million in general funds to repair local bridges and a $300 million investment to speed action on the Mountain Parkway and I-69 ORX projects. In 2022, $250 million of general funds were appropriated to enhance state matching funds for the state’s three mega projects.
“Kentuckians everywhere won when we successfully earned $1.63 billion in federal grants for the Brent Spence Bridge project thanks to that $250 million investment,” said Secretary Gray. “With teamwork from legislators, we hope to repeat this winning investment strategy by showing we have skin in the game to get these priority projects done.”