Hwy. 227 to be
widened this summer to three lanes
Helen E. McKinney
CARROLLTON, Ky. (February 2003) This summer will
be a long one for residents and commuters who travel Carrolltons
Hwy. 227 corridor between Hwy. 42 and I-71.
Beginning as early as March, Kentucky State Transportation officials
plan to widen the Hwy. 227 and Hwy. 42 intersection in downtown Carrollton
where semi-trucks have had a longstanding difficulty of negotiating
the turn. The project also calls for the widening of Hwy. 227 to a three
lane roadway, which in the long run will be good but in the short term
a traffic nightmare.
Its going to be a long summer, but this is something we
need badly, said Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold Shorty
Tomlinson during a January update of the road project to the Carroll
County Chamber of Commerce.
In 2000, Kentucky Gov. Paul E. Patton revealed his Six-Year Highway
Plan to widen, rebuild and repave many Kentucky roadways. The plan also
called for the repainting or replacing of many interstate bridges. The
plan includes 1,360 projects statewide.
Hwy. 227 looking south.
The Carrollton project is expected to be complete on the
Hwy. 227 and Hwy. 42 intersection by November, with construction work
done by Ohio Valley Asphalt of Carrollton, said planning engineer Kevin
Rust of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The construction plan for Hwy. 227 is actually three projects all rolled
into one, said Sam Beverage, the transportation cabinets Chief
District 6 Engineer, which encompasses Carroll and Gallatin counties.
The first phase has already begun at the I-71 interchange, where workers
are trying to improve access points at the interchange. The southbound
left turn lane is being lengthened at the interchange.
Phase II begins at the downtown intersection of Hwys. 42 and 227. Part
of the land at the intersection of Hwys. 227 and 42 had to be purchased
from Rite Aid Pharmacy and a former used car lot to make room for the
improvements. The project includes curbs and sidewalks on the south
side of Highland Avenue, extending to Cartmell Elementary School.
After that work is complete, construction will begin around August on
a three-lane section of Hwy. 227 all the way to the interstate, Beverage
said. The new Hwy. 227 will include a left turn lane. An existing railroad
will need to be removed from the area on Hwy. 227 near Hometown Pizza.
The entire project is expected to cost more than $1 million. All
money comes from state or federal dollars, Rust said.
Chamber of Commerce president Greg Goff said the chamber has been pushing
for this construction for quite some time. He cited the area as dangerous
and very much in need of improvement.
During the lunch hour and rush hour, traffic is often at a standstill,
he said. He said he hopes the end result will increase traffic flow
more smoothly through the area and open the door to more business.
Joseph Graves, executive director of the Carroll County Community Development
Corp., agrees with Goff. This should have been done 10 years ago.
The Hwy. 227 widening project was supposed to have taken place last
year, officials said. Tomlinson said there were certain right-of-way
acquisition issues that held up the project.
He cited the unsteady economy and present world conflicts as another
reason for prolonging the project. There are only so many dollars
for the federal government to use, he said.
Weve done quite a bit of lobbying to get something done
out there, he said, adding that many local citizens and civic
groups have been supportive of this road project.
Turning in to the many restaurants and hotels that sit just off of the
interstate exit, for instance, will be much easier once the first phase
is completed, as will turning in to the state park or any of the other
Currently, making these turns can be hazardous for motorists because
it involves sitting in the middle of the right lane until oncoming traffic
There is a tremendous amount of truck traffic along this route,
said Graves. The current alignment does not allow (drivers) to
make turns easily.
Bart Nofsinger, who manages the VF Factory Outlet at the Butler Outlet
Mall on Hwy. 227, said he is concerned that prolonged construction may
hurt his business.
At Januarys chamber meeting, Nofsinger voiced his concern over
a lack of information on the project. He wanted specific answers to
questions about exactly when the project would start, how long would
it take, and what it would entail.
Most of my business is traffic from I-71, he said. Although
he may get more local clientele during the weekend, he wants to keep
Hwy. 227 free from long construction holdups during the summer.
I think in the long-haul, it will help, but in the short-haul,
it will hurt, he said.
Graves has a more positive outlook on the project. He doesnt see
the construction as an obstacle to local business because, he says,
it will be done in sections. Not the entire length at one time.
Beverage said the state is considering installing a traffic signal in
the future at the Hwy. 36 intersection of Hwy. 227. This would be a
separate project from the current one, and no designs have been drawn
Rust said other road projects in the county include spot improvements
from Carrollton to the Markland Dam in Gallatin County and bridge replacement
along Hwy. 389. Graves said that 56 percent of the workforce coming
into the county use I-71 and Hwy. 227. It will cause some delays and
a lot of headaches, but as Goff said, It will take patience on
For more information on the Six-Year Plan, go to the Kentucky
Transportation Cabinets website at: www.kytc.state.ky.us.
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