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Long overdue road work begins on Ky. 680 connector

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - The construction of the long-awaited 2.9 miles left to finish state Route 680 in Floyd County began Monday.

The Minnie to Harold Connector (Ky. 680) is a 14.89-mile highway that creates a modern, safe, direct route between U.S. 23 and state Route 80, two of the region’s most heavily traveled roads.

“If you live in this area. you have been waiting for someone to say ‘we’re starting on the final section’ for 30 years,” said Sara George, public information officer of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 12.

For drivers like Delmer Frasure, he’s one of those people as he drives Route 680 every day.

“There are a lot of curves, and there aren’t too many straight stretches. When there is road work, you have to sit there for a long time before you can get through. Hopefully, the construction of the 680 will eliminate a lot of those problems,” Frasure. said.

The cost of the entire project, from state Route 80 through Minnie to U.S. 23 at Harold, is $172,792,748.69.

The final section, which includes a bridge across Little Mud Creek, runs from Little Mud to Tackett Branch. The contractor will mark the clearing limits later this week with tree cutting.

Drivers in the area won’t have to worry about the immediate traffic impacts until the later stages of the construction. At that time, traffic will be affected on Mud Creek near the mouth of Tackett Branch. Also, eventually, a traffic signal will be installed at the Ky. 680/Ky. 122 intersection at Minnie.

The project began in 1991 when the first section was built from Route 80 over Goose Creek to Route 122 at Minnie.

The new route cuts the mileage between Pikeville and Hazard by 7.68 miles. Driving time from Pikeville and Prestonsburg to Hazard will be reduced dramatically. The new, relatively straight highway has wider lanes and shoulders and bypasses six sets of traffic signals on heavily traveled sections of U.S. 23 and Route 80.

Construction is expected to wrap up in 2024.

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