LOUISVILLE, KY. — The federal government has awarded almost $60 million for transportation projects in Kentucky. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the funding Tuesday. The grants are part of $1.5 billion appropriated for the program and are intended to improve safety at the locations. The grants include $25 million to Pulaski County to replace the Kentucky 80/Kentucky 461 intersection and the Valley Oak Drive-Coin Road intersection. Also, $23 million goes to Calloway County to add two lanes and shoulders along almost 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) of U.S. 641. The third grant is $11.5 million and goes to help the Owensboro Riverport Authority widen and improve almost 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) of Kentucky 331/Industrial Drive and Rinaldo Road. Read more here.
EDITORIAL From The Advocate-Messenger You won’t find elected officials publicly supporting the idea of higher taxes very often. But in the case of Kentucky’s gas tax, the Boyle County Fiscal Court is doing just that. And we think that’s the right position to take. The amount of revenue available to maintain Kentucky’s roads has been depressingly low for a long time. All around the state, roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure gets repaired too slowly or not at all — and that’s only going to get worse with gas prices as low as they are now. You might think you only feel the impacts of poor road funding in the shocks of your car when you drive over potholes, but bumpy … Read More
During a community forum in October, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said the issue of a shortage of road funding is not going away and stated the legislature will have to craft a bill to include a possible increase in the gas tax and other fees to deal with declining revenue to fix and build Kentucky roads and bridges. In audio of the forum at the Campbell County Fiscal Court obtained by The Bottom Line, Gov. Bevin explains the state gets money for infrastructure and road projects through two main sources, funding from the federal government’s highway trust fund and an excise tax on fuel in the state. Both of which, he said, are declining in recent years—a cause for concern … Read More
“If we focus on making Kentucky highways safer, we can prevent some addiction.” That is the statement made by Dave Cooper in a July 3 editorial posted by the Lexington Herald-Leader. While I’m not sure Mr. Cooper’s statement is accurate, I do know Kentucky has significant challenges to overcome to make our roads and bridges as safe as they can be. With nearly 80,000 miles of roadway and nearly 14,000 bridges to maintain in the Commonwealth, our state—along with the road and bridge design and construction industry—has worked diligently to provide a safe transportation network that connects Kentucky communities to one another and Kentucky’s manufacturers, farmers and miners to rest of the world. But, our state is in the midst … Read More
Saturday was the final day of the 2018 Legislative Session. I am sad to report that there was no action taken this session on HB 609 or the language contained within the bill. While modernizing how we fund Kentucky’s transportation infrastructure was the primary initiative of KBT and KIC, it was not the only issue that impacts Kentucky’s transportation network. HB 201, the budget for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet was passed by both the Senate and the House. It has been delivered to the Governor for his signature. The budget includes the following language: Highways: $1.65 billion per year is appropriated for highways. This includes the following appropriations. State Construction: $340 million in FY 2019 $282 million in FY 2020 … Read More
This past Monday was tough. Not only was it the last day of the legislative session prior to the Veto period – it was also the day we learned that, while there would be some sort of tax reform bill, it would not contain language to modernize how we fund Kentucky’s infrastructure. We were out – not in – and there was no way to change that. The budget bill was printed. The tax reform bill was printed. The 2-year road plan was passed along with the 4-year resolution. Several other bills were passed but one of the most important issues facing our state was not addressed. Earlier this week a member called to talk about this and reminded me … Read More
It’s spring in Kentucky. That means snow, sun, basketball (go Hilltoppers and UL Women!) and the final days of the Legislative session. Yesterday was the 55th day of the legislative session. That means there are only 5 days left for the final passage of bills. 5 days doesn’t seem like very much time – especially if the issue you support has not been heard in committee. But it is Kentucky, and sometimes things aren’t what they seem – just remember it snowed on the first day of spring earlier this week. There is still enough time for our issue (HB 609) to pass in these final 5 days. HB 609 simply ensures we have enough revenue to maintain the infrastructure … Read More