During a July 26 press event, Gov. Matt Bevin (R) and Kentucky Transportation Secretary Greg Thomas officially gave the go-ahead to start work on the final segment of the 20-year effort to revamp the 37-mile-long KY 30 corridor; a project expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
KY 30 is the most direct route from Lee, Jackson, and Owsley counties to I-75 south, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and the final phase of this long-term project – which will cost $63 million – aims to straighten a 13.5-mile curvy segment of road between US 421 in Jackson County to Travellers Rest in Owsley County, reducing its length by 3.5 miles.
A shorter, straighter path means drive times will be cut in half from 21 minutes to 11 minutes, the KYTC noted, with each driving lane one-foot wider accentuated by a new eight-foot wide stretch of paved shoulders to safely house disabled vehicles and plowed snow.
“We are excited today to announce the start of construction on the final segment of KY 30 here in Southeast Kentucky,” said Gov. Bevin in a statement. “Completion of this long-anticipated transportation project will significantly improve safety, reduce travel times, and create new economic opportunities for residents.”
“Unwinding and widening this heavily-traveled rural road will improve mobility, sight-distance, and safety for a forecasted 3,200 motorists, commercial trucks, and emergency vehicles that rely on this roadway every day,” added KYTC’s Thomas. “Safer roads to better connect the Commonwealth are ahead for this region of the state.”