US 60 in Olive Hill

U.S. 60 in Olive Hill and the bridge over Tygart Creek are depicted in this Daily Independent file photo.

Carter County residents will see several transportation infrastructure projects underway in the coming days and weeks. They include a $2 million highway improvement project on US 60, the KY 182 bridge over Sinking Creek will close for repairs and painting will start for some bridges on I-64.

The highway improvement roadwork starts along the Rowan-Carter county line goes 10 miles to just east of Harris Street in Olive Hill.

The work will go through 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the next several weeks. Traffic will be restricted to one lane.

“I think that it will be a benefit to all those travelling through Olive Hill,” said Allan Blair from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The project includes new blacktop and upgraded sidewalk ramps in Olive Hill. The work is being done by Mountain Enterprises, Inc. under the low -bid Kentucky Transportation Cabinet contract.

Additional work includes changing the highway’s lane striping pattern in Olive Hill to create a two-way, left-turn lane from Hitchens Avenue past KY 2 through downtown. It will connect to the existing two-way left-turn near Cold Springs Road. That will eliminate the truck lane near the end of Railroad Street as a way to increase safety and improve traffic flow.

“We are not changing the width of the roadway, but we are going to restripe the roadway so that we can create a center turn lane through Olive Hill,” said Blair.

The KY 182 bridge over Sinking Creek in Carter County will close starting on Monday June 17 for reconstruction with reopening planned for mid-July.

“We tried to choose candidates that were essential, or they are areas that are often overlooked,” said Blair.

It will be closed for up to 30 calendar days while its superstructure is rebuilt with new support beams and a new driving surface. Traffic may use KY 986 and US 60 through Olive Hill as a detour.

The bridge is being reconstructed as part of the Bridging Kentucky program. The program is a part of a $394,565.25 low-bid Transportation Cabinet contract awarded to the Walker Company of Kentucky, Inc.

The program was designed to reinforce the safety of the bridges of Kentucky by replacing and repairing more than 1,000 critical structures in all 120 Kentucky counties over the course of six years.

“That basically gets you another on average 30 years of life out of a bridge, so that’s kind of the point of the program to hit a lot of these bridges that are getting close to the end of their lifecycle,” said Blair.

Blair said they want to be able to increase the weight limit of some of the bridges, so they no longer prohibit the crossing of busses and other large traffic.

The bridge is on the Grahn side of Dudley Ridge Road, which is about a mile from Rattlesnake Ridge.

The joint repairs on the bridges along I-64 began on April 9, 2019 and are completed. They are under a separate estimated $2 million low-bid Transportation Cabinet contract awarded to Seminole Equipment Inc.

The bridges will now be painted to prevent rust. It is expected to have low traffic impact, but there might be some short-term lane closures throughout the project.

The bridges that were included in the project where in Carter and Rowan Counties.

In Carter County, the I-64 bridge over the Little Sandy River east of Grayson, US 60 bridge over I-64 west of Grayson and I-64 bridges over Tygarts Creek just west of Olive Hill Exit 161.

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