Area counties share in $23 million for school safety projects

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)Some 70 projects in 44 counties will share $23 million to improve highway safety near public schools, protecting students, educators and families.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced the projects Wednesday using state funding allocated in the 2020 Highway Plan.

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Over the next two years, funding will be used to design and/or construct projects, ranging from new turn lanes and crosswalks to pavement markings and new entrances.

Counties across the state will benefit from upgrades to existing school flashing lights, pedestrian crosswalk beacons and roadside signs encouraging distraction-free driving. The new projects are also expected to create contracting and design jobs.

In Central Kentucky, Bardstown City Schools in Nelson County will receive more than half a million dollars to construct new sidewalks along Templin Avenue, safely connecting Bardstown Primary School with a new elementary school across the street scheduled to open next January.

“This new sidewalk addition is going to connect our new elementary school, it’s going to bring students and families closer to our school and provide them even better access,” said Bardstown City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ryan P. Clark.

Bardstown Elementary School Principal Brian Courtney added, “As a principal, my number one goal is to ensure the safety of all students. This sidewalk will mean students will be able to travel to and from school safely throughout the neighborhood in all directions.”

In Southeastern Kentucky, a dedicated turn lane on the west entrance of Colony Elementary in London will be constructed to reduce morning and afternoon traffic congestion and improve safety for commuter traffic in the area.

“We greatly appreciate the Beshear Administration’s and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s work to make this project possible to enhance traffic safety at Colony Elementary School,” said Laurel County Schools Superintendent Doug Bennett.

One of the safety projects addresses a railroad underpass height restriction near the University of Louisville’s campus.

The safety project will fund the installation of a height detection warning that flashes lights and a digital message to warn truck drivers if their vehicle won’t clear the underpass that has been the site of previous truck crashes.