SALYERSVILLE – Two Mountain Parkway Expansion projects in Magoffin County will affect travelers this week.
Construction crews are placing nearly 850 tons of concrete beams to create a new span across the Mountain Parkway in Magoffin County. The project began Monday, when workers set seven, 100-foot beams on the south side of the parkway at the Gifford Road interchange – about 5 miles west of Salyersville.
On Tuesday, workers are scheduled to set seven more beams across the 102-foot center span. This work will cause short delays for travelers as traffic is stopped to set each beam into place. Delays are limited to no more than 20 minutes. Work will begin around 9 a.m.
The bridge beam placements are scheduled to be completed on Wednesday, when the last seven beams are placed across a 58-foot span on the north side of the parkway.
These 21 beams will support a 260-foot bridge that will carry Gifford Road across the Mountain Parkway. The new bridge is expected to be completed sometime next year. The interchange at Gifford Road, which will provide access to a planned industrial park, is scheduled to open to traffic in early 2017.
The Gifford Road project is one of three that started this year to the west of Salyersville. In addition to the work near Gifford Road, projects to improve the KY 7/Salyersville interchange (Exit 75) and the KY 30 interchange (Exit 72) are entering the early phases of construction.
Traffic switch planned
Traffic near the KY 30 interchange will also be affected. Crews are placing barrier walls in eastbound lanes on the south side of the parkway, just before and after the KY 30 ramps.
On Thursday, eastbound traffic around the KY 30 interchange will shift to the north, resulting in one lane of eastbound and westbound traffic on the parkway. The shift will eliminate a passing lane.
The barrier walls are a safety precaution to prevent debris from falling onto the roadway during drilling and periodic blasting to widen the parkway corridor. During blasts, short stoppages of traffic on the parkway are necessary for the safety of workers and the traveling public.
“We are transforming the landscape along a nearly 6-mile section of the Mountain Parkway to allow us to widen the entire parkway to four lanes,” said Marshall Carrier, a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineer who is the project manager. “This first stage of the project is really taking shape, and other sections are moving right along with construction and planning. By next year, more than one-third of the 46-mile project will be either under construction or shovel ready to start construction when funding becomes available.”
About the Mountain Parkway Expansion
The Mountain Parkway Expansion is a 46-mile transportation improvement project that will create a wider, safer connection between Eastern Kentucky and the rest of the Commonwealth. It is a key transportation project designed to close the only gap in a 400-mile, four-lane, high-speed corridor for commerce and mobility across Kentucky from Pikeville to Paducah. The project will widen 30 miles of the existing parkway from two lanes to four lanes, and will extend the parkway another 16 miles by widening KY 114 between Salyersville and Prestonsburg.
The Mountain Parkway Expansion is a key project of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative. Launched by Gov. Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers in 2013, SOAR is designed to help the region develop and put into action new locally-oriented strategies to attack persistent challenges related to job training, health, education and economic development.