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Gov. Beshear, officials gather to discuss continued expansion of Mountain Parkway

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 8:54 PM EDT
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MORGAN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A project that state officials call critical to Eastern Kentucky’s economy entered a new phase on Tuesday.

The Mountain Parkway Expansion has been in the works since 2017, with an eight-mile stretch between mile marker 57 and mile marker 65 now stretched out to four lanes.

“It’s the key to opening up Eastern Kentucky, of ensuring that we can have widespread economic development everywhere and bring hope and opportunity to this region,” Gov. Andy Beshear said.

Gov. Beshear and other officials gathered at exit 60 near Helechawa to discuss the Parkway’s continued expansion.

“There was more deaths per mile on this section of roadway that we’re standing on than any other section of the Mountain Parkway,” Morgan County Judge-Executive John Will Stacy said. “So this section right here will save lives.”

Beshear also presented a check for $250,000 to Morgan County Schools to improve road safety for parents and kids.

“These are the only dollars that I have a hundred percent discretion on where to send,” Gov. Beshear said. “And as a dad of an 11 and a 12-year-old, what’s better than making sure our most precious cargo, our kids, get to and from school safely?”

This earned the Governor some praise from local officials.

“Andy Beshear really cares about all areas of the state and one thing that he understands is that no area in the state can be as good as it can be until all of our areas are as good as they can be,” Stacy said.

Beshear said that he and his administration will continue to carry on the project until it reaches Prestonsburg.

“We’ve been ranked as I think the sixth-most dangerous rural roads in the country, we’re doing something about that today,” Gov. Beshear said.

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