A road project designed to alleviate congestion and heavy truck traffic in downtown Tompkinsville is scheduled to begin in January 2016.
The 3.8-mile road, which is estimated to cost $13 million, will bypass the southern portion of town, tying in with Ky. 163.
“Our turning areas for semis are not wide enough for them to maneuver currently,” Mayor Jeff Proffitt said. “My hope is that the bypass will attract new business and industry and not hurt our current businesses, who are already struggling with today’s economy.”
Plans call for a two-lane road, with truck climbing lanes where necessary.
The Tompkinsville City Commission voted in November to hire Monarch Engineering of Lawrenceburg to move the city’s utility lines in order to make room for the new road.
“The project begins at a new intersection with Ky. 163, almost directly across from the drive-in theater,” said Wes Watt, public information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 3 office in Bowling Green. “[It] traverses north on a new alignment, intersecting Capp Harlan Road and Cave Springs Road, then curves northwest to intersect Ky. 100, continuing northwest to intersect Ky. 1049. [It] then curves west to a new intersection with Ky. 163 about midway between the Walmart store and Clyde Parrish Road.”
The project was added to the state highway plan in 1998.
“The funds for rights-of-way and utilities were authorized in 2013. There are 62 properties that are being impacted,” Watt said. “The project is scheduled to be let for construction in January 2016.”
Monroe County Judge-Executive Tommy Willett believes the bypass will, in time, help attract industry to the county.
In November, Monroe County had an unemployment rate of 7 percent – down from 7.1 percent in October but higher than the 6.6 percent in November 2012, according to information published on the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training’s website.
When industry officials consider communities as possible locations for manufacturing facilities, one of the first things they ask about is the road system, Willett said.
Willett and Proffitt work together to try to recruit industry to the Tompkinsville-Monroe County area. They were among representatives of five southcentral Kentucky communities invited to Atlanta last year to give a presentation about the community to representatives of a company looking for a new location, he said.
“We’ve actually had more requests for information over the past year than we’ve had in the previous two years that I’ve been county judge, so things are looking better in that respect,” Willett said.
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