By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
Richmond drivers traveling along the US 25 construction path beginning at Kroger will take a slight detour later this week, according to a Kentucky Highway Department spokesperson.
The newly paved portion will begin being used Thursday so workers may begin construction on the remaining portion of the current project to widen the road to five lanes, said Shawn Russell, Richmond supervisor for the state highway department.
“If you heading south toward Duncannon Lane, you will be going to the right,” he said. Drivers along headed north will detour slightly to the left.
“They need to be able to put some traffic over there so they’ll be able to work on the side that currently has traffic on it,” Russell said.
The project will consist of five lanes when finished.
“You’re going to have two lanes in each direction and a center lane will be a turning lane,” he said. “There will be sidewalks on both sides and a bike lane in the roadway on both sides.”
Work on the first portion of the widening project, which will end at Pumpkin Run (South Pointe Subdivision) will continue into and throughout the winter months, Russell said.
“It’s progressing fairly well, and everything’s gone as planned,” he said. “There’s a lot of work they can do (in the cold, winter months). They can place sidewalk, lay pipe, and they’re also working on a culvert out there.”
The second phase will go to the Duncannon Lane intersection, and the last phase will continue to the US 421/US 25 split.
Russell urges drivers to be cautions during this change.
“Drivers are going to want to pay attention to their signs, but it won’t be a huge change,” he said.
Berea’s US 25 N widening comes closer to reality, changes appreciated by those affected
Business and homeowners to be affected by the widening of US 25 North from the Berea Bypass to Ellipse Street filled Berea City Hall’s Community Room Sept. 27 to view a redesign.
State Transportation Cabinet representatives met individually with business and property owners on the highway who were concerned the original five-lane plan would drastically cut, if not eliminate customer parking spaces for some businesses and infringe upon residential yards and driveways.
“Everyone seems to be receptive to having three lanes instead of five,” said Berea City Administrator Randy Stone.
Slight changes were recommended regarding certain entrances along the path, and the state is considering those, Stone said.
Taking time and resources to resubmit a plan based on community feedback is something Stone said the State Transportation Cabinet rarely does, but “The majority (of business and property owners) were not receptive to the original plan,” he said. “So, the state took another look at the plan.”
The project’s timeline remains a total prediction at the moment.
“We’re waiting on the final acceptance from the state and the release of funds,” Stone said. “It’s a very well thought-out project. It’s designed to fit the needs of the area and it’s a much-needed project. I think the plan itself is very adequate and will be a big asset.”
The original design was a five-lane highway with a center turn lane, a 10-foot wide, shared-use path on one side and a 5-foot wide sidewalk on the other side.
Project construction was scheduled to begin this summer, but because of the redesign, Stone predicts the project to begin in the summer of 2013. The original five-lane plan was estimated to cost about $3 million, but the redesign will cost a bit more. Stone said Monday he was unsure of the three-lane design cost.
Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@