|POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Repairs of sinkholes in the westbound lanes of the Mountain Parkway could begin early next month and be completed by early November, according to the state.
The westbound lanes in Powell County near the Wolfe County line have been closed since late July, when a sinkhole developed beneath the surface of the road.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has drawn plans for the repairs and bids will be taken later this month. Once a contractor has been selected, KYTC plans to have them begin work in early October with a goal of having the project completed and the road fully open to traffic by late October or early November.
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In the meantime, all westbound traffic has been detoured onto KY 15, which runs parallel to the Mountain Parkway, between Exit 40 at Pine Ridge and Exit 33 at Slade. Eastbound traffic on the parkway has not been affected.
Truckers coming from the US 23 corridor in eastern Kentucky may prefer to use other routes, such as I-64 through Catlettsburg; or KY 80, the Hal Rogers Parkway, and I-75 via Hazard and London to reach Lexington and points beyond.
Drivers who use the KY 15 detour are urged to use caution, as the route is narrow with a steep downhill grade and sharp hairpin curves.
Additional warning signage has been installed, particularly near the KY 715 south intersection at Pine Ridge, to alert motorists to the possibility of encountering slowed or stopped traffic.
An electronic message board has also been placed to further notify motorists of the need to reduce speed and use caution approaching the intersection.
KYTC engineers evaluated the possibility of running two-way traffic on the parkway’s eastbound lanes, but determined that was not feasible for safety reasons due to the sharp curve and steep grade on Slade Hill.
To accommodate trucks using the signed detour route, southbound KY 15 has been closed on Slade Hill. Through traffic is directed to use the eastbound Mountain Parkway, and signs are posted.