The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will host an informational meeting from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday on a proposed US 27-to-Interstate 75 connection corridor.

The meeting will take place in Eastern Kentucky University’s Perkins Building on Kit Carson Drive south of the Eastern Bypass.

A similar meeting was conducted Nov. 20 in Jessamine County.

The session is designed to acquaint citizens with six main alternatives for the connector, from the proposed East Nicholasville Bypass to I-75 in either Fayette or Madison counties, said Stuart Goodpaster, transportation cabinet branch manager for planning.

Information about traffic volume and accident rates as well as environmental and historic features will be provided.

“We’ll have an open-house format so people can ask about route alternatives,” he said.

The proposal is in the early planning stages with construction at least 10 years away, Goodpaster said.

Route selection is the first step for building a new road, he said. Next comes an environmental impact statement, followed by design, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and then construction.

“Of course, the legislature has to fund each step,” Goodpaster said. “All we have money for now is the corridor study.”

According to a map on the cabinet’s Web site — transportation.ky.gov/D7/default.asp — possible I-75 connection points include Exit 104 in Fayette County and Exits 90 or 95 in Madison County. Two points between Exits 90 and 95 also are illustrated.

Environmental and historic concerns make a Fayette County connection less likely, Goodpaster said.

A Madison County connection point would require construction of a bridge across the Kentucky River.

I-75 is the fourth-busiest highway in the nation, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would like to see another expressway across the Kentucky River, according to Madison County Judge-Executive Kent Clark.

“If the Clays Ferry Bridge was taken out or blocked, traffic would be detoured out Boonesborough Road to Winchester and the Interstate 64 back to I-75,” he said.

Boonesborough Road is only two lanes and not a limited-access expressway. An older Clays Ferry bridge also is only two lanes.

“The traffic snarl that would result, even in normal times, would be horrendous,” Clark said. “Think what it would be like in a national emergency.”

Goodpaster said Homeland Security had made no commitment to help fund planning or construction of the corridor.

Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@richmondregister.com or at 623-1669, Ext. 267.

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