Update: Railroad Tracks Paving Projet Nearly Complete In Knox County

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US 25E Railroad Tracks Paving Project in Barbourville 10-4-13
Work to repair and smoothen railroad tracks crossed by more than 18,000 vehicles a day on US 25E near Barbourville is nearing completion.

While repaving a 1.22 mile section of the Corbin to Barbourville Road, the Transportation Cabinet’s Knox County highway crew, along with Hinkle Contracting Corp., partnered with CSX Railroad to redo the track panels while improving both the rail line and vehicle crossing. 

The concrete crossing was first installed in May 2011 with an asphalt base under the tracks. However, the crossing was installed with more super-elevation between tracks than necessary for the low-speed trains – 10 (mph) – traveling from CSX’s main line down the Corbin to Manchester Branch. 

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CSX Roadmaster Jimmy Hinkle worked with CSX’s Application Regional Engineer to reduce the super-elevation.

“By reducing the super-elevation between the tracks from an inch and a fourth, down to a half inch, it allowed the concrete track panels to be installed at a flatter grade, reducing impact to traffic,” said David Fuson, Project Engineer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 

“The concrete panels should provide 20 years of successful service at this highly traveled rail crossing,” said Michael Calebs, Engineering Branch Manager for the Department of Highways. “We expect the investment to be worth it and they will remain smooth throughout their service life. The goal is to provide a smooth crossing for the traveling public – one that will remain maintenance-free to lessen delays and impacts to traffic for years to come.”

Fuson said the project is nearing completion with pavement arrows for the turn lanes, cross bucks, stop bars, and rumble strips on shoulders to be installed and finished next week in time for the Daniel Boone Festival.  Hinkle Contracting was the asphalt paving contractor for the project. The cost to repave the section of roadway was $360,000.

“This is a great riding rail crossing,” said Sherri Chappell, chief district engineer for the Department of Highways District 11, which includes Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie and Whitley counties. “We are so appreciative of the cooperation between CSX, Hinkle Contracting, and our Highway Department work force to make this crossing smooth and durable for years to come. The improvements came about as a result of working together to provide a safer and smoother crossing that we can all enjoy.”

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.