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Farmers Express Concerns About Impact of Roundabout Intersection on Ability to Move Equipment

round1OWENSBORO, Ky. (7/10/13) -- Months have passed since the beginning of the construction for Owensboro’s first roundabout at Kentucky 81 and Kentucky 56 and the local community still has great concerns.

Farmers and townspeople met Tuesday night at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on Highway 56 for a question and answer session with Senator Joe Bowen and Kevin McClearn, Executive Director of the Kentucky Highway Department.

“I’m sorry that it had to come to this,” McClearn said. “If we want to get it right, we will get it right.”

The farming community posed many questions about the project, particularly concerning whether their transportation and equipment would be able to travel on the roundabout considering its current radius.

Transportation Cabinet officials said Tuesday that they were “open to change” and that they still have access to a contractor. Any plans changed would have to be approved in Frankfort, but “shouldn’t be a problem”.

Locals voiced their opinions about the design needing to be changed immediately and officials agreed saying that they would “keep the integrity” of the design but they would have to make one side of the lane more forgiving for transporters.

Aesthetic improvements to the area’s highway have already been put in effect with new features such as lighting. Signage enhancements will be added in the future.

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The process of improving the design was said to begin after Tuesday’s public meeting, and completion of the project is expected by fall.

“I feel pretty confident we will be successful with our design,” McClearn said.

Following the meeting, Highway Department Spokesperson Keith Todd recommended those concerned about the issue watch a Missouri Dept. of Transportation-issued video regarding roundabouts. The video can be viewed by Clicking Here.

Taylor Riley
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Taylor Riley

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