Oldham County moving ahead
on several road building plans
Ambitious projects expected
to take a while to complete
LA GRANGE, Ky. (January 2014) – In a modern world that is constantly changing and growing, Oldham County is keeping up with the times. One way economic development is progressing is through various road improvements and projects.
1. I-71 overpass in la Grange
2. Hwy. 146 in Buckner
3. Hwy. 393 corridor in Buckner
4. Pedestrian bridge over I-71 near Crestwood
Approximately 11 projects were included in the Oldham County Transportation Projects Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Six-Year Highway plan for fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2018. Even though these plans are to be accomplished within six years, “theoretically, it doesn’t get done in six years,” said Oldham County Judge-Executive David Voegele. But the county is making progress, and the projects are being planned for by county officials, he said.
County government has to request these projects from the state and hope they are taken into consideration. As to the budget, “there are some county dollars and some matching funds involved,” Voegele said. The county has $130 million in committed federal and state projects.
One project included in the Six-Year Plan is the I-71 overpass project, involving the I-71 interchange at New Moody Lane. This interchange would be built between I-71 exits 18 and 22.
“We’re working weekly with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to move up the timetable to get the bridge built over the interstate,” Voegele said. The cabinet has received and opened bids from eight different contractors. Bids were opened on Dec. 13.
The legislature allocated $12 million to build this bridge between Commerce Parkway and New Moody Lane, he said. Voegele hopes the project will begin in the spring, but it will not be finished until 2016.
Jim Urban, Director of Planning & Development Services for Oldham County, said it is part of a larger project to connect Hwy. 146 and Hwy. 53 in a joint project between the Transportation Department and Economic Development. This is a project that would provide an alternate route from I-71 to Hwy 53.
“This is an area that gets very crowded,” said Urban. Total cost for this project would be more than $16 million.
The county has hired an URS Consultants to develop plans for Ring Road, a three-mile stretch of road running through Oldham Reserve. The road would cut through the area where The Rawlings Group, an insurance subrogation company, has been located since 2007. “The company has a lot of employees, and it’s a very busy area,” Urban said. The new road would consist of four lanes running through the area to Hwy. 53.
The Rawlings Group headquarters is situated within Oldham Reserve, a 1,000-acre business park in La Grange. Oldham Reserve was developed to become a mixed-use, corporate campus, established for the development of high-end retail, residential and commercial development.
So far, The Rawlings Group is the only tenant. The company employs around 700 individuals and is housed in a 160,000-square-foot building.
An I-71 Interchange Justification Study was finalized in January 2011, Urban said. At the time, it was decided that, “other improvements were needed before the interchange could go in.”
Voegele agreed with Urban that the “big project on the radar now is the expansion and reconstruction of Hwy. 146 in Buckner.” One big addition into this area that has affected the traffic pattern is the Carriage House, a company that makes food products.
Voegele said the company built a 500,000-square-foot warehouse, thus there is a lot of truck traffic in the area not far from Oldham County High School. Approximately 100 trucks a day are going in and out of the area, which can create traffic issues, especially with people heading to and from work and school at the same time.
Voegele said the county has been working with the company to implement a plan that would include having three lanes running from Quality Place to Cedar Point Road. “We hope to get a red light at the intersection of Cedar Point Road and Hwy. 146,” said Voegele.
There is some disagreement between state and the Carriage House company engineers as to whether a red light is needed at that location. Carriage House officials say one is needed, as does county administration. This would be a $1.3 million to $1.4 million construction project.
Even though “quite a bit of widening has been done so far,” the project has come to a halt because the railroad signals need to be widened, he said. This is to be done by CSX’s own construction crew, and any further progress can not be done until this is accomplished.
There is also a road project taking place along the Hwy. 393 corridor and the “plan there is to have a connector,” said Voegele. This project would stretch from I-71 to near the entrance to the Oldham County Country Club. A three-lane road would be built under the railroad tracks.
With the new design, both Hwy. 146 and Hwy. 393 would meet and cross a little further east. “Both would have to go down 18 to 20 feet lower than they are now,” Voegele said. This project would involve CSX constructing a temporary additional track through that area while they work on the main track.
“All road projects have four phases,” Urban said. This includes design and engineering, right-of-way issues, utilities and construction. The project that calls for aligning the Hwy. 393 corridor is in the right-of-way acquisition stage. The total cost of this project is more than $15 million.
Another project calls for installing a pedestrian bridge over I-71 to connect to Old La Grange Road. Both bicyclists and walkers could use this path running from Crestwood to Buckner. “We hope to have it completed by July 1,” said Voegele.
Voegele said other county road projects call for extending the Old Henry Road Bypass to Ash Avenue in Pewee Valley, widening U.S. Hwy. 42 from the Jefferson-Oldham County line to Ridgemoor Drive, widening KY Hwy. 22 from Crestwood to Centerfield at Bridge Hill and installing a new bridge, reconstruction of a park-and-ride facility that includes a parking lot, shelter, bike lockers, walkways and a 1,000-foot access road located on Apple Patch Way on KY Hwy. 329 near I-71 Exit 14 in Crestwood, and the construction of an uninterrupted rail underpass near the intersection of Allen Lane and KY Hwy. 146.
Most of the projects in the Six-Year Plan are on the way in one phase or another, he said. “We’re trying to push the schedule ahead.”
For some projects, right-of-way acquisition is still needed on several properties, on which the state is working to complete. Designs must also be finalized before letting contracts on the projects. All of these details “need coordinating with a variety of different people,” said Voegele. Thus a Six-Year Plan often goes beyond six years.
Voegele said another related project that was recently completed was the installation of two signs naming a stretch of highway along 146 from just outside of Crestwood to just outside of La Grange an “Oldham County Parkway.” The signs have “Share the Journey” written on them, reminding bikers and automobile drivers to get along on the roadway.
In an effort to spruce up the view from the roadway, 60 trees were planted east of Buckner along a quarter mile area between the road and railroad. The trees were donated by LG&E, Kentucky Utilities and several other businesses.
“We’re trying to create a look from Crestwood to La Grange that is clean, pretty and reminiscent of a parkway,” said Voegele. Twenty sunset maples were planted earlier in 2013 along the Hwy. 393 and Hwy. 146 intersection in Buckner and 13 trees were planted from North Camden Lane to Park Lake Subdivision.
“All trees were donated,” he said. “We’re making a big effort to try and clean up a heavily traveled stretch of road.”
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