Powell County receiving more than $1.7 million for school safety, transportation upgrades

STANTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Two ceremonial checks were presented to Powell County Tuesday from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as a commitment to two highway safety projects aiming to reduce traffic congestion and alleviate backups in the area of Powell County schools, as well as resurfacing roadways.

The check for the highway projects was for $1,205,000 and the other was for $524,700.

“As Governor, but also as a parent, the safety of our schoolchildren is always on my mind,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “This ceremonial check represents more than the cost of engineering and materials. It represents a high priority of all of us on Team Kentucky – making streets and roads safer around and near our schools.”

The majority of the school safety funding – $1,155,000 – is to pay for design and construction of a turning lane and related work on Kentucky Highway 2073 – known locally as Hall’s Lane – which connects with the main entrance to Powell County High School and Powell County Middle School.

The remaining $50,000 will pay for badly needed pavement striping and curb work at an intersection near Stanton Elementary School that has been prone to congestion with crashes as a predictable consequence.

“Along with Gov. Beshear, our highest priority in the Powell County Schools is the safe, in-person learning of our students. We have approximately 1,200 middle and high school students on this campus. In order to meet that academic priority, we have to get them here and back home safely each day,” said Dr. Anthony Orr, Powell County Schools Superintendent.

“We’re grateful for state and local officials who understand how critical a strong infrastructure is to getting all those people on and off campus safely and smoothly,” he added. “This project is going to improve our current flow and begin the preparation for bringing another 400 people to this campus in the new elementary school for which we’ll soon break ground. Thank you to Mayor Allen, Judge Anderson, Gov. Beshear and the folks at KYTC for stepping up to meet this need and prepare for our future.”

The turning-lane project would extend from the main entrance of Powell County High School to the roadway’s intersection with Kentucky Highway 11/15 (West College Avenue). By creating space for turning vehicles, backups will be alleviated and the flow of through-traffic improved on Kentucky 2073.

KYTC engineers expect to also build a sidewalk along Kentucky 2073, on the school’s side of the roadway, and to study drainage patterns with an eye toward possible curb and gutter work.

To the east, near Stanton Elementary School, crews will apply fresh, 6-inch-wide striping at the intersection of West College and North Main Street (Kentucky Highways 11/15 and 213) to improve visibility and clearly delineate through-traffic lanes, turning lanes and pedestrian crosswalks.

For safety reasons, engineers also will remove concrete slabs and debris that once marked a parking lot entrance near the intersection and rebuild the concrete sidewalk for accessibility. The parking lot has two other entrances.

“We believe these few simple fixes will result in clearly defined traffic lanes, smoother traffic flow and fewer rear-end crashes,” Gov. Beshear said.

In April, Gov. Beshear announced plans to invest nearly $23 million in highway safety projects near schools to protect students, educators and families in addition to improving conditions for motorists. The Governor charged KYTC with targeting sites and setting priorities for the projects, using state funding allocated in the 2020 Kentucky Highway Plan. Nearly 70 safety improvement projects were identified. The full list can be seen here.

Also in Powell County, Gov. Beshear presented a second ceremonial check, for $524,700, representing discretionary funding for resurfacing sections of seven county roadways – Woody Ware Road (County Road 1212), Manning Road (County Road 1009), Katie Drive (County Road 1258), Barker Branch Road (County Road 1110), Lower Hatcher’s Creed Road (County Road 1019), Happy Top Road (County Road 1224) and Little Hardwicks Creek Road (County Road 1215). Together, the projects will cover 6.8 miles. The funding is administered by the KYTC Department of Rural and Municipal Aid.

“Our mission is to provide efficient and modern transportation infrastructure for Kentuckians. That mission isn’t limited to interstates and parkways. It extends also to the county roads and city streets that lead to your front door, or to your school, or work place or house of worship,” Gov. Beshear said. “Local streets and roads are vitally important to the people who use them, and that’s why I’m proud we’re able to provide this funding.”

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