TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

October 18, 2013

What’s in store for U.S. 25E?


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is looking at making improvements to a stretch of U.S. 25E in Corbin, and they’d like your say on what can be done at a meeting Thursday at 2 p.m.

It’s called a citizens advisory meeting, and will be held at Corbin City Hall on the second floor, where the City Commissioners meet.

The stretch of 25E — also known as the Cumberland Gap Parkway — that’s in question is a four-lane corridor that starts at Exit 29 of I-75 in Laurel County, then goes eastward into Knox County and the Corbin city limits, before it ends at the junction of Ky. 3041 (the Corbin Bypass).

A Transportation Cabinet spokesperson from their District 11 Office in Manchester said Wednesday the idea is not only to explain what’s being proposed, but to get the community more involved in getting the project going their way, and to get everyone on the same page.

“Representatives from our office and Municipal Engineering Company from Frankfort, who are the engineers consulting on the project, will be there to display map boards, use visual presentations, discuss the proposed project and answer questions from the audience,” said Les Dixon, the Public Information Officer for KYTC District 11.

Thursday afternoon’s meeting is open to the public.

A similar citizens advisory meeting took place last Tuesday at Corbin City Hall, involving proposed improvements to a stretch of U.S.25W on the south end of Corbin. About 30 people got their first look at the way the state Transportation Cabinet wants to improve a stretch of the road, also known as Cumberland Falls Highway.

The project to reconstruct that part of 25W would start at its junction with 5th Street Road (Ky. 727), move east under Exit 25 of I-75 and end at the western end of the Corbin Bypass (Ky. 3041).

Construction on the project is anticipated to start in fiscal year 2017.

A separate state project to make improvements to the Exit 25 interchange of I-75, which would increase vehicle capacity, as well as provide immediate and emergency relief for traffic going to Corbin Arena events, has been awarded. It would widen the exit ramps to three lanes, with two exit lanes going into Corbin.

Highway department officials in Manchester said last week that work on the interchange project can now start, and have until August of next year to finish.