Projects would upgrade water system, roads, prevent future flood damage
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (May 24, 2021) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced today his recommendation of two projects in Pike County totaling more than $1 million in funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Projects would bolster water infrastructure and protect the area from future flood damage. Gov. Beshear also announced nearly $150,000 in funds from the Transportation Cabinet to reconstruct an intersection at a local high school and to resurface one of the county’s rural roads.
“Strong infrastructure, from roads and bridges to our water systems, is imperative to encourage growth and advancement in our local communities,” said Gov. Beshear. “Today’s announcements are adding to the region’s strong future. Kentucky’s economy is set for liftoff following COVID-19, and we are seeing reasons why right here in Pike County.”
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding is designed to help economically distressed counties in Appalachian Kentucky strengthen industry and infrastructure to build stronger economic futures. The Department for Local Government (DLG) oversees ARC funds at the state level.
“We look forward to ARC’s approval on these projects because they will make much-needed improvements in Pike County to ensure they and Eastern Kentucky are poised for growth and a strong future,” said DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene.
“I am thankful for the Beshear administration’s commitment to improving rural infrastructure in Eastern Kentucky,” said Senator Phillip Wheeler. “Good roads, safe bridges and clean water are essential to revitalizing the region’s economy and encouraging future investment.”
Mountain Water District to Make Needed Improvements to Water System
The Mountain Water District (MWD) applied for $670,597 for the Fishtrap Hydraulic Modification Project. To improve the efficiency of the water system, MWD plans to update water mains in the Millard Bottom and Rocky Road area, which will correct a hydraulic inefficiency that will allow for additional water volume at the Lower Pompey Tank. Upon completion, this will increase production in the Harless Creek Plant and decrease the amount of water needed from the City of Pikeville.
“The Mountain Water District would like to thank everyone that worked on the Fishtrap Hydraulic Modification Project and express gratitude to Gov. Beshear and the DLG for recommending it for approval from the ARC,” said Roy Sawyers, Mountain Water District Administrator. “It is a highly anticipated endeavor that will provide both economic and improved service benefits to the residents and businesses in and around the community. It will also support plans for future development at Fishtrap State Park, including construction of a water park and an expansion of the campgrounds and marina. These exciting, future developments will boost tourism and the economy in Pike County.”
Pike County Fiscal Court to Protect Kentuckians from Future Flood Damage
To prevent a recurrence of the 1977 400-year flood event, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed the need for flood protection in Pikeville, Coal Run Village and Elkhorn City. To do so, they propose adding flood walls in these areas.
To aid in this effort, Pike County Fiscal Court applied for $442,105 for the Levisa Fork Basin Flood Damage Reduction Project, which will use an ARC grant as matching funds to complete the design of the Coal Run Village Flood Wall and to acquire 10 structures for this project.
Gov. Beshear also announced today DLG has requested the full application for ARC funds for the Maynard Fork Waterline Extension Project, which would provide 16 families with safe, clean drinking water. Upon receipt of that application from Pike County Fiscal Court, Gov. Beshear plans to recommend the project to ARC for approval.
School Safety Project Near Pike County Central High School
Gov. Beshear announced that $50,000 is being allocated for design of an innovative “R-CUT” intersection to increase safety on U.S. 119 at Pike County Central High School. “R-CUT” stands for Restricted Crossing U-Turn. It is an intersection design that eliminates the need for anyone to make a left turn against traffic. Instead, drivers are able to flow a little farther downstream and then execute a legal U-turn.
“For several years now, our engineers at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have been deploying some innovative new designs for intersections. All have the same purpose – to eliminate left turns across traffic. Our experience has been that crash rates go down when left turns against traffic are eliminated. And not just any type of crash, but rather T-bone crashes, which are more dangerous,” Gov. Beshear said. “What better place to increase traffic safety than near a school where we send our children?”
“As superintendent, nothing is more important to me than keeping our kids, educators and staff safe,” said Reed Adkins, Pike County Schools superintendent. “Thank you to Gov. Beshear for making Pike County a priority and funding this project that will help protect our families.”
The Governor also announced that $99,954 in discretionary funding has been awarded to the Pike County Fiscal Court for some badly needed resurfacing on Barrenshee Creek Road.
The project will cover 2.2 miles, making for smoother and more efficient travel for the many residents who live along the rural roadway in northeastern Pike County.
The funding is administered by the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
“The Transportation Cabinet’s mission is to provide efficient and modern transportation infrastructure for Kentuckians," Gov. Beshear said. “That mission isn’t limited to interstates and parkways. It extends also to the small county roads and city streets that lead to your front door, or to your school, workplace or house of worship. Those streets and roads are vitally important to the people who use them.”
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov and the state’s response to COVID-19 at kycovid19.ky.gov.
To read more about a string of positive economic news for Kentucky, click here.