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Traffic Control in Taylor Mill, Possible Funds for Highways Discussed with Transportation Cabinet

Rob Hans of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) gave a few updates to The River City News on what’s happening around Northern Kentucky roadways.

The first topic discussed concerned the ongoing project at Kentucky Route 16 in Taylor Mill. In recent months, the community that lives in the subdivision of Taylor Creek expressed frustrations about a lack on traffic control devices at an intersection on Pride Parkway. City officials have been in regular contact with KYTC about the developments of the project. Since the roadway is a state route, all final decisions made about the road—including any traffic-control devices like stop lights or signs—will ultimately be determined by state officials. The best the City of Taylor Mill can do is make recommendations to the state based on its own research, studies and community feedback. 

“That project is still an active construction project and I understand the motorists as they see the project moving forward and things are changing, still see some congestion and functionalities of the roadway that aren’t complete and they’re concerned about some of the intersections,” Hans said of the KY 16 project. “What ultimately will happen is when the project is completed, which again is an active construction project with lane closures and orange barrels along the whole corridor, we will begin the evaluation process of traffic movements, left turns, right turns, delays at side streets, to determine if any traffic-control devices are warranted and justified.  The locations of traffic signals that are installed now and stop signs that are actually installed to date are part of the project. If we need to make additional adjustments to those locations that some of the residents have questioned, we will evaluate that in the next couple of months and make some determinations.”

As for other projects, some have been slowed by the rainy summer the region has experienced this year, but, nonetheless, Northern Kentucky remains fairly unfazed compared to other parts of the state.

“Fortunately, at least in the Northern Kentucky area, we haven’t had the flooding that other parts of the state have had that caused actual damage to our roadway infrastructure; but the rain, the wet weather does slow down construction activities, some of our projects that we were hoping to move on this summer were maybe pushed back slightly. Nothing that’s been a substantial delay from a project completion standpoint but definitely the rain and the wet weather has slowed down construction activities,” he said.

Lastly, Hans commented on the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act. The bill, developed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) would provide three years of guaranteed funding for the highway trust fund without increasing the deficit or raising taxes, according to a news release.

Hans is still gathering information on the details of what that would mean for Kentucky and Northern Kentucky, but said that any increase of federal funding can only help the large projects that are not currently funded like the Brent Spence Bridge corridor project, the estimated $2.7 billion project that would add a second span to the west of the current bridge and also widen lanes and improve traffic flow along several miles of I-75 on both sides of the Ohio River.

“I’m not sure of the ultimate amounts of federal dollars that would be coming to the states, but again, in general terms, the highway improvement needs that we have in the state, far exceed the available funding that we receive through federal dollars, and our state gas tax dollars that are collected at the fuel pump. If there is an increase in the available funding that comes to the state, that is going to be a win for the Commonwealth. I’m not going to say that it will cover the large gap that we have in project needs and the available funding, but every increase in dollars coming to the state is going to be a benefit or bonus to the state.

“You know very well that we have many projects that are unfunded, so again, potential federal dollars coming into the state would allow us to move projects that are of great importance forward. The Brent Spence Bridge Project, one of the mega projects in the area, available funding is not there for that project. I don’t know if there is any proposals for mega-type projects in this highway funding source that the senators have proposed, but we have a large amount of those major projects that conventional funding mechanisms just aren’t there to allow us to construct and move those projects forward, so there would need to be a large sum of money that becomes available to allow us to move a lot of the needs forward.”

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor