By Sean Bailey
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet held a public information meeting for the proposed reconstruction of 10th Street in Williamsburg on Thursday.
Sandy Rudder, public information officer for the transportation cabinet said the proposal includes widening the road between KY 92 and the Second Street intersection, building a raised bridge over Brier Creek, and a safer intersection at Second Street. The reconstruction is projected to begin 2010.
Transportation Cabinet Branch Engineer Joey Mosley said there are two proposed options for the 10th and Second Street intersection. One is a traditional “signal” intersection — one that uses lights to control traffic. The other option would be a European-style roundabout.
“The roundabout could be slightly more expensive than the traditional intersection, but it would be more safe, and it would increase road capacity,” Mosley said.
Mosley added that roundabouts are relatively new to the area, but there would be town meetings and signage to clear up any confusion. Locally, the Knox County Courthouse is located in the middle of a roundabout.
The grade of the road would also be raised, which would fix the extremely sharp curve that now exists just before Brier Creek. Flooding problems associated with the creek would also be addressed by the reconstruction.
“The creek gets wild at times and floods in heavy rain. There will be a new raised bridge to alleviate the problem,” Mosley said.
Several homes along 10th Street will have to be demolished for the reconstruction. Terry Petry’s home is one of the properties that is in the proposed path of the new road.
“We’ve been told that we would be re-located to what they said would be a comparable lodging. It seems like we will be accommodated,” Terry Petrey said.
The accommodations won’t make the move completely easy, though. Terry’s son Andrew has only known one home his entire life.
“You know it’s the only house I’ve ever lived in, so it’s sad to see it go,” Andrew said.
Terry said the location of the house was always central to the family’s life. Her children would “run across the street for a pop” and do laundry at the family business. The children could also walk up the hill to school everyday. The location isn’t the only thing the family is going to miss.
“My dad also built the porch at our house, and he has since passed on. That’s one thing that’s going to be hard to see go,” Terry said.
Lena Petrey, helps run the family laundromat and predicts the construction is going to hurt business. Lena is also worried that once construction is done, barriers planned between the road and parking lot of her business may make parking difficult for customers.
“It’s not all negative though, I think if they go with the roundabout it will slow people down, which will help cut down on accidents. Overall I think that it’s a positive thing, there will just be a few set-backs,” Lena said.
The transportation cabinet will be taking public comments on the proposal for the next 15 days. Statements can be addressed to Quentin Smith at the Kentucky Department of Highways District 11 Office, 603 Railroad Avenue, Manchester, Ky. 40962
By Sean Bailey
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