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State eyes federal funding to repair Hwy. 625 span

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

Representatives from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet presented Fiscal Court with plans Monday for the 2009-10 Rural Secondary Roads plan for Trimble County.

The county was allotted $525,711 for repaving projects for the upcoming fiscal year. Of that, $275,000 has been set aside for routine maintenance, including patching, ditching and snow and ice removal for the 59 miles of state roads, said Matt Bullock, chief engineer for District 5 of the state Department of Highways.

Chris Poe, a Trimble County resident and New Castle branch manager for District 5, said one project, replacement of the bridge over Corn Creek at the intersection of State Hwy. 625 and Joyce Mill Road, could be paid for with federal funds.

That project, estimated at nearly $400,000, would use the remaining funds for secondary roads if left in that program, Poe said. That would leave two other projects unfunded for the next year, he said.

Those include resurfacing 1.84 miles of Conners Ridge Road (State Hwy. 2869) and resurfacing 1.7 miles of 625 from U.S. 421 to Pryors Fork.

Those two projects are estimated at $111,277 and $180,000, respectively.

Bullock said the district likely will be able to complete several other paving projects this spring, which had been put on hold, as well: 1.73 miles on Pattons Creek Road, 3.64 miles on New Hope Road and 1.84 miles on another section of Conners Ridge Road.

Those projects will cost $115,462, $256,901 and $110,500, respectively, and the funding is included in this year’s program.

Poe said the prospect of receiving funding for the bridge over Corn Creek from the federal Highway Administration “looks very favorable.” He said the grant will require letters of support from county emergency personnel to attest to the need to improve the bridge and intersection for safety.

Judge-Executive Randy Stevens said that structure now in place often is submerged during and after heavy rains by the swollen creek.

“The rain basically closes that road,” he said, adding, “we can get you letters of support for that.”

Poe said he has in mind a twin structure with two 11-foot-wide lanes with 4-foot shoulders. He said his plan also would raise the elevation of the existing road, and include grading to help with drainage.

He said the two units are pre-cast, easy to construct and simple to install.

Just in case the federal funding does not come through, Poe said the bridge project has been added to the state’s six-year plan. At this point, however, the project is not funded on the state’s plan, Poe added.

Poe said there are as many as six other bridges in the county he would like to see replaced with similar structures.