Key stretch of the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway open

MORGAN COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Eight miles may not seem like much, but today, it marked a big milestone on the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway.

State and local officials gathered on Exit 60 of the parkway near Helechawa, Kentucky to celebrate the opening of eight more miles, making over half of the major road project opening up Eastern Kentucky complete.

The work began in 2017 running through Morgan, Wolfe, and Magoffin counties, and is intended to open up tourism opportunities. The Morgan County segment expanded the corridor from two lanes to four, built 18 bridges, reconstructed a dangerous “S” curve, and constructed new eastbound lanes.

The first Mountain Parkway expansion segment, Magoffin County Central, reached completion in 2019, and the Saylersville segment was completed 2019.

“When complete, the 46-mile Mountain Parkway Expansion will be the final, finishing link creating a 400-mile-long, four-lane, high-speed corridor from Paducah to Pikeville,” said Gov. Beshear.

The expansion also has an immediate impact on lives in the communities.

“One of the major things it does–right here where we’re standing–this was one of the most dangerous sections of the Mountain Parkway. There were more deaths per mile on this section of roadway we’re standing on than any other section of the Mountain Parkway. So this section right here will save lives,” said Morgan County Judge-Executive John Will Stacy.

Governor Beshear presented a $250,000 check representing school safety transportation funding to Morgan County Schools.

The 4.9 mile Magoffin County West segment of the expansion is set to be completed by the end of 2022.

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