CRESTWOOD, Ky. (Sept. 2003) The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
has narrowed to four the alternative routes for construction of a
highway connecting the Old Henry Road interchange at I-265 (Gene Snyder
Freeway) in Jefferson County to Hwy. 22
by Ruth Wright
on Hwy. 146 in Pewee Valley.
near Crestwood in Oldham County, inching the project closer to realization.
The purpose of the project, No. 5-367 on the transportation cabinets
Six-Year Plan, will be to divert traffic from Hwy. 146, alleviating
congestion on the heavily-traveled road.
If youve been on 146 in the evenings, then you understand
the problem, said Oldham County Engineer Orville Threlkeld.
The road, currently a main thoroughfare from Pewee Valley to Crestwood,
is typically clogged by morning and evening rush-hour traffic. A new
road would provide both an alternate route for individuals traveling
to Crestwood and points east and offer improved accessibility within
the project corridor, according to the purpose and need statement.
Transportation cabinet officials held a public meeting Aug. 28 at
Eastern High School in Middletown to discuss two route options, which
run mostly through Jefferson County. A second public meeting is planned
for 6 p.m. on Sept. 4 at South Oldham High School in Crestwood to
discuss two route options in Oldham County.
In Jefferson County, both Alignments 45-B and 45-C run from I-265
along the existing section of Old Henry Road, continuing northeast
to Factory Lane, where 45-B jogs to the north; 45-C to the south.
In Oldham County, the alignments rejoin to cross Hwy. 362 near the
beginning of Hawley Gibson Road. From there Alignment 5 continues
north, crossing Old Floydsburg Road and continuing northeast. Alignment
6 continues east near Red Penn Landfill, crossing Floyds Fork twice
before swinging back to the north. Both Oldham alignments cross Currys
Fork and intersect Hwy. 22 approximately three-fourths of a mile east
of the Crestwood bypass.
by Don Ward
Mansion in Crestwood, Ky.
The entire 4.5- to 5.5-mile road (the length varies by route) is
envisioned as being four lanes with a grass median that can accommodate
left turn lanes, according to transportation cabinet documents. The
design includes a 10-foot multi-purpose path to accommodate pedestrians
and cyclists on one side of the Jefferson County section. The proposed
speed limit is 45 mph in Jefferson County and 55 mph in Oldham County.
Cost of the project, which is scheduled in the current Six-Year Plan
at $25.5 million for right-of-way, utilities and construction, changes
from day to day and varies by route, said Andrea Clifford, transportation
cabinet public information officer.
Funding for preliminary design was authorized in July 1998, Clifford
said, but construction and environmental concerns have made determining
a suitable route difficult and delayed progress. The transportation
offices District 5 Design Engineer, Kevin Villier, cited historic
properties, new development, waterways, flood plains and a Texas Gas
line as some of the issues that have slowed down the planning phase.
In 1999, three alternative alignments in Oldham County were developed
through public comment and the input of a Citizen Advisory Committee.
A fourth was added when concerns were raised about alignments near
Floydsburg, a potential historic district. All four alternatives,
which linked directly to Hwy. 22 at the Crestwood bypass, were dismissed,
and two new routes were designed when Waldeck Farm and Mansion was
nominated for the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. This
put the project into a Section 4(f) Condition, according
to transportation cabinet documents.
Defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Section 4(f) states
that: A transportation program that requires the use of publicly
owned land of a public park, or wildlife and waterfowl refuge, or
land from an historic site of national, state, or local significance
may only be approved if: there is no prudent and feasible alternative
to using that land; and the program includes all possible planning
to minimize harm to the public park, wildlife and waterfowl refuge,
or historic site resulting from the use.
Waldeck owner David Gleason researched records to verify the original
boundaries of the farm and applied for historic registry designation
to protect his property when he became aware that the transportation
cabinet was considering alternative routes through the property close
to the mansion. Waldeck was added to the national register in 2001,
forcing transportation officials to reconsider their proposed routes.
Now, We have to do everything we can to avoid it, Villier
The alternative routes currently being proposed have less of an impact
on the historic property but still include a cut through the farm.
As far as the mansion, which was our first consideration, its
not as invasive. But from a farming perspective, its much worse,
said Gleason. It affects a lot of our better farmland.
Gleason is worried that while the 323 acres of his land listed on
the national register is protected, the majority of the farm is still
at risk. They do almost anything to minimize the number of property
owners and the number of relocations, said Gleason. So
when were sitting here with 1,400 acres of farm land, its
much easier for them to affect us than it would be to affect a dozen
or more others, Gleason said.
Villier confirmed that the transportation cabinet attempts to minimize
the number of relocations due to new roads. The alternate routes now
being proposed would require between 1 (Alignment 6) and 14 (Alignment
5/5-3) relocations. The routes would still affect a section of Gleasons
farm, which because of its size and location is nearly impossible
to avoid completely.
This is not the only project proposed by the transportation cabinet
that would affect Waldeck, said Gleason. He cited the cabinets
plan to widen and straighten a section of Hwy. 22 between Crestwood
and Centerfield. Part of the road runs alongside Gleasons fields
and would require moving fence posts, he said.
They look at this as vacant land, not farm land. But the fact
of the matter is, at some point it becomes difficult for us to run
it as a farm when every single project impacts our fields, which is
where we make our money, Gleason said. What weve
told them is that wed be open to helping with that (Hwy. 22)
if they would give us some consideration with preserving some of our
Gleason and other citizens are encouraged by the transportation cabinet
to attend public meetings to provide their input about where the road
should go. The Hwy. 22 widening project and the Old Henry Road-to-Crestwood
connector are two of nine projects in Oldham County included in the
transportation cabinets Six-Year Plan. Other projects include
major widening of Hwy. 393, both north and south of I-71, landslide
repair on Hwy. 1694, rockfall mitigation on Hwy. 1793, safety-hazard
elimination on I-71, pavement rehabilitation on I-71 and weigh station
rehabilitation on I-71.
Another project being considered is a new interchange on I-71 between
the I-265 exit in Jefferson County and Crestwood Exit 14 in Oldham
County. Under the previous administration, the planning and
zoning staff worked with the Jefferson County Public Works Department
to help secure matching funding in the amount of $10,000 from Oldham
County to hire a consultant to prepare a study for a new interchange
on I-71, said Oldham County Planning & Zoning Administrator
Louise Allen. The project hasnt been added to the cabinets
Six-Year Plan, but it has been on a wish list for years,
That wish list includes several projects that would help alleviate
traffic problems in Oldham County, where residential growth has put
a strain on many of the countys rural two-lane roads.
In addition to relieving congestion on Hwy. 146, the Old Henry Road-to-Crestwood
connector would also help the flow of traffic once some of the commercial
projects now being developed in the area are complete. These include
a new dentists office being built at the northeast corner of
Hwy. 329-B and Hwy. 22 and the Pleasant Colony development, which
will include a CVS Pharmacy, on the northwest corner of the busy Hwy.
329-B and Hwy. 146 intersection.
Transportation cabinet officials have not estimated a construction
time period for the new road. After a route is determined, an environmental
assessment will be completed, then a public hearing will be held.
If no significant impacts are determined, final right-of-way
and construction plans will be developed. Officials hope to be ready
for the public hearing by spring 2004. The schedule for right-of-way,
utilities and construction will be evaluated in the 2004 update of
the Six-Year Plan, officials said. It is not known when funding will
be made available.
of Possible Routes