Mayor Jim Gray today thanked Governor Steve Beshear for sending Lexington an additional $556,000 to pave the way to completion of the long-delayed Tates Creek Road sidewalks.
“For far too long, there's been a dangerous footpath instead of sidewalks along Tates Creek. Thanks to Governor Beshear and these funds, pedestrians and especially people with disabilities will now have a real path instead of a dirt path to walk on,” Gray said.
Councilmember Bill Farmer said, “This project is so much more exciting than the mere term ‘sidewalk’ would cover. Lexington is highly interested in active lifestyles. People are telling me they can't wait to use them.” Farmer and fellow District Councilmembers Julian Beard and Diane Lawless participated in today’s news conferences. The sidewalks pass through areas they represent.
The sidewalks will cost a total of $1.7 million and will be funded through a combination of federal, state and local funds. The sidewalks are 5 feet wide and will stretch 1.6 miles along each side of Tates Creek, from near McMeekin Place to the Lansdowne Shops.
The project will also bring traffic signal safety improvements, including countdown pedestrian signals at each intersection. In addition, Alumni Drive, Albany Road and Dove Run Road will get audible pedestrian signals. And concrete pads will be added for bus shelters and benches, making public transit more convenient.
The sidewalks will give pedestrians greater access to churches, neighborhoods and shops along Tates Creek, as well as to the University Of Kentucky campus, Commonwealth Stadium and the Arboretum.
“It is a great honor to have been a part of this project from its early advocacy stage to completion,” said Vice Mayor Linda Gorton, who previously served as a district councilmember in the area. “The Lansdowne, Shadeland Community, Zandale, Glendover, Blueberry Hills, and Southern Heights neighborhoods were the force that kept it moving forward as they recognized the benefit of improved connectivity and transportation along Tates Creek.”
Construction on the sidewalks began in mid-August and will conclude next spring, after breaking for winter weather. During the construction all inbound traffic lanes on Tates Creek will remain open during the morning rush hour and outbound lanes will be open during the evening rush hour.
“The new sidewalks on Tates Creek are going to improve the safety for all who walk along the corridor, including children, seniors and people who are disabled,” said Keith Lovan, city project manager. “These sidewalks are going to be a huge asset for Lexington and were a wise investment to Lexington's public infrastructure.”
Bluegrass Contracting Corporation is the contractor on the project.