The Kentucky Department of Transportation has agreed to study the possibility of going around the small community of Newtown as part of a project to improve and widen U.S. 460 from Scott County to Russell Cave Road in Bourbon County, said Scott County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington.

The project has two prospective design plans in place, both going through Newtown, but due to concerns raised by residents living in the area a third plan may be developed, Covington said. 

Even so, completion of the project will be delayed as a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) was much less than originally expected, Covington told the fiscal court Friday.

The project has two segments, one each for Scott and Bourbon counties. The total cost of both segments is estimated at $49.9 million with $25 million originally expected from a BUILD Grant through the USDOT. However, the USDOT only offered $10.2 million forcing state officials to reduce the scope of the project.

The Bourbon County section has an approved environmental document, and acquiring right-of-way permissions among that portion are already in process. The reduced scope will be to improve U.S. 460 from Russell Cave Road to the U.S. 27 bypass in Paris. The cost of this project is estimated at $17.3 million. This segment is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2021.

The Scott County Fiscal Court had pledged $1 million toward the original $49.9 million, but due to the reduction of the project, that pledge will not be necessary, Covington said.

The fiscal court has already authorized $2.35 million toward the preliminary engineering, environmental and design phase of the project, which will continue. Officials expect it will take about 12 months to complete the Scott County section of the environmental document.

 

Mike Scogin can be reached at mscogin@news-graphic.com.

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