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ISSUE: Multiple road projects
OUR VIEW: Evidence Hardin County is worthy of investment
As Kentucky wrestles with a sluggish economy, there is a bright spot in state spending in Hardin County. It’s bright orange and there’s plenty of it.
Kentucky is operating on a tight budget and most state programs and services have had to adjust to budget cuts. Usually, that means local activity pulls back, too. But Hardin County road construction seems unaffected. Tens of millions of dollars in projects are moving forward.
Prep work is ongoing to widen North Miles Street from Pear Orchard Road and French Street to just beyond Ring Road next year. The more than $13.5 million project includes a construction contract for more than $7 million. The road is expected to be widened next year, leaving that section looking more like the section between Pear Orchard and U.S. 31W.
Elsewhere, crews are at work on Ky. 361, better known as the Elizabethtown-to-Radcliff Connector, or E2RC, the largest of BRAC-related road projects. The road, which will run from Rineyville Road near Helmwood Heights Elementary School in Elizabethtown to Ky. 313 in Radcliff, will provide an alternate route that will pull motorists off an overcrowded U.S. 31W, reducing traffic flow by as much as 30 percent. Construction contracts are worth $51.8 million.
Another project, extending Ring Road from Gaither Station Road to Western Kentucky Parkway, is ongoing. That’s a $13 million project expected to be complete next summer.
There’s tough competition for state money, especially money for roads. We certainly have local representatives in the Kentucky General Assembly and others to thank for working hard to keep Hardin County projects a priority. Clearly, Kentucky sees need and potential in the area.
Hardin County is growing. More people reside here and more motorists are driving in to work, shop and attend school than years ago. There must be a way to efficiently move these travelers from point A to point B.
From the accessibility that will make local industries more competitive to the reasonable commutes that play into quality of life for workers, today’s road construction will be key to Hardin County’s future growth.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.