Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials give update on Kentucky Highway 15 project

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:41 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet say the end is in sight as construction continues on the $85 million Kentucky Highway 15 project in Hazard.

Construction on Phase 1, Morton Boulevard to Bonnyman, is nearly completed with some minor touches left to finish. The next major phase is the opening of the new bridge across the river near Combs Road and Perry Park Road.

Spokesperson for District 10, H.B. Elkins, says the major goal is to make the section safer, faster, and more convenient.

“That section of Kentucky 15 carries around 30-thousand vehicles a day maybe a little more, maybe a little less. It’s busier than any section of the Mountain Parkway or the Hal Rogers Parkway that we have,” Elkins said.

Elkins says they have one goal for the overall project.

“To widen Kentucky 15 to four lanes. To eliminate traffic lights between the end of the bypass and the Hal Rogers Parkway and Kentucky 80,” Elkins said.

Elkins says construction is planned to be finished at the end of 2021.

“That means hopefully we’ll have traffic on the new bridge and the new section of Kentucky 15 on the new alignment between the bypass and Food City, Morton Boulevard,” Elkins said.

Elkins says they are making the section safer, faster, and more convenient.

“For all drivers, commercial vehicles, local residents, motorists that are passing through, and tourists,” Elkins said.

Elkins asks everyone to remain patient just a little longer.

“The advantages will be obvious as soon as we get it open and as soon as drivers get used to the new highway. So, we just appreciate the patience over these past few years,” Elkins said.

Elkins urges caution when driving through construction.

“Use safe behavior behind the wheel and use a little patience, use a lot of caution when you’re out and about,” Elkins said.

Elkins says thankfully the flooding and ice storms the area has received have not altered their schedule towards completion.

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