Tribune-Courier News Editor
DRAFFENVILLE — Construction began on a project that will ultimately see the addition of turn lanes on U.S. 68 and U.S. 641 last week as workers started to move utilities along the roads.
“At this time work is focused along US 641 and should be completed around the end of May. Work will then move to US 68 starting around the first of June and continuing for about 6 weeks,” Keith Todd, public information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said.
Todd said bids for the road construction portion of the project could be awarded in September or October. Preliminary construction could begin in November, but will likely begin next year. The project will add a turning lane at both the U.S. 641 and U.S. 68 entrances to Marshall County High School. The turn lane will extend to Fellowship Christian School on U.S. 68.
“It’s possible that if the construction rolls over the next year, work will be performed during the summer when school is out,” Todd said. “That has yet to be determined. If construction begins this year, it would likely be off the right-of-way so traffic is not disrupted.”
Todd said the plan has a $3 million budget in the six-year road plan.
“This project will affect 42 individual parcels of land involved,” Todd said. “We’ve worked out rights-of-way and easements with most of the owners. There are maybe four or five we are still working out details for rights-of-way or temporary easements. There’s just one property that hasn’t signed off.”
Todd said most of the utilities being moved were gas lines.
Ricky Jones, director of facilities and transportation for Marshall County Schools, said the Department of Highways has assured him school driveways would remain accessible on both roads. He added the entire project would last a year or two.
“We don’t anticipate any problems with transportation, but it’s hard to say for sure,” Jones said. “They are aware of the fact that we have bus runs in the morning and the afternoon. We’re not expecting a huge ordeal, but common sense says it won’t be business as usual as we’ll be entering and exiting construction zones.”
Jones said he is hopeful the project will improve commutes and access to the schools. He believes the new turn lanes will also reduce congestion for all motorists in the school area.