DSC 0383WESTERN KENTUCKY (7/4/14) ― Good roads, highways and bridges are critical to the economy and is one of the most important services provided by government.

With the new I-69 slicing across his district, Kevin McClearn, P.E., Chief District Engineer for KYDOT District 2, has been a very busy fellow.

Multiple projects are proceeding simultaneously. The largest is upgrade is the interchange between the Pennyrile Parkway and Western Kentucky Parkway.  

I-69 follows the foot print of the two parkways but the transition from one to the other must be made without using ramps.  That means, motorists traveling north and south on I-69 will transition via long, sweeping turns with 70 mph speed capacity.

“This whole conglomeration only has two bridges and six ramps will stay the same,” said McClearn.  (Photo)

McClearn said that the old interchange contains eight ramps.  Only two of the ramps will be significantly changed.  The project is only the second in District 2 using “Design Build”, in which the contractor actually begins construction prior to design being completed.

“The advantages are that you get to construction much quicker,” McClearn explained.  “It takes special circumstances for Design Build to be effective.”

It is a big project ($29 million) that McClearn expects to be completed this time next year.

Considered one of the biggest traffic headaches in Hopkins County, is the Mortons Gap interchange that McClearn said could take over a year to complete with bids for construction expected to be let in January.

“That interchange with be a standard diamond” he said.

A Webster County exchange will be overhauled in the near future.

“The Sebree exchange was let last Friday and getting under construction in 4 to 5 weeks,” said McClearn.  

The exchange was originally designed for a toll booth and the ramps are inadequate by interstate standards.  The exchange has been reworked and repaired several times due to unstable ground.  The bridge will stay where it is and the upgrades will involve significant earthwork, said McClearn.

Interchange work in Henderson will be completed later this year.  In addition to the specific projects, other construction upgrades to the Pennyrile from the WK to Henderson have been let.  This work includes upgrading tapers (lengthening ramps on and off), bridge clearances and guardrails.

McClearn said that the section of highway will earn its “shields” next year and officially be I-69. When a parkway gets the shield, it then qualifies for federal interstate funding.

While all this is going on, McClearn oversees the rest of the second district (the largest in Kentucky) with the district’s 2,000 bridges ― the most of any district in Kentucky.  

“By federal law, each bridge must be inspected at least once every two years.  When we identify a bridge with problems, we inspect it every year.  Bridges that are showing deterioration may have their weight limits reduced or repaired or replaced,” said McClearn.

Ron Sanders
SurfKY News

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
1 DOW 18,126.12
-36.87 (-0.20%)    
2 S&P 2,120.79
-2.69 (-0.13%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,097.98
-8.62 (-0.17%)    

Most Read This Week

May 22, 2015 7801

Madisonville Man Charged with First-Degree Rape

by SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 7732

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 6160

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 3638

Can Sunscreen Save Your Life?

by Melissa Patrick
May 27, 2015 3194

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 10926

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 22, 2015 7801

Madisonville Man Charged with First-Degree Rape

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 27, 2015 6160

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 3194

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 2299

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - May 27, 2015

by Crime Stoppers
May 28, 2015 1322

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 1077

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – May 27,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
May 27, 2015 890

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 699

Greenville Man Charged with Rockport Robbery,…

by SurfKY News
May 28, 2015 591

Teens Injured When Vehicle Crashes into Tree

by SurfKY News