POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Walker Construction and Materials is the low-bidder at $1,091,845.38 for repairs to sinkholes that have kept the westbound lanes of the Mountain Parkway in Powell County near the Wolfe County line closed since late July.
But the repairs will cause both directions of the parkway to be closed.
And the deal is almost half the state’s $2 million estimate.
No firm date for the beginning of the work has been set, but the bstate plans to have the contractor start as soon as possible. The road must be open to traffic by Oct. 31, or the contractor will be subject to financial penalties.
During the work, there will be a maximum period of two weeks in which both directions of the Mountain Parkway will be closed.
Eastbound traffic will be detoured between Exit 33 at Slade and Exit 40 at Pine Ridge via KY 11 south and KY 715 north through Natural Bridge, Zachariah, Rogers, and Pine Ridge.
Advance public notice will be given of the closure. If the eastbound closure lasts longer than 14 days, the contractor again will be subject to penalties.
Westbound traffic has been detoured since the closure onto KY 15, which runs parallel to the Mountain Parkway, between Exit 40 at Pine Ridge and Exit 33 at Slade.
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 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.
To accommodate trucks using the signed detour route, southbound KY 15 has been closed on Slade Hill. Through traffic on KY 15 is directed to use the eastbound Mountain Parkway, and signs are posted. That traffic also will be diverted to KY 11 and KY 715 while the eastbound lanes of the parkway are closed on Slade Hill.