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Transportation officials present possible routes for Bardstown western bypass

The four possible corridors for a western bypass are indicated by colors Aqua, Yellow, Orange and Pink. Click image to enlarge.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 — More than 150 people turned out Thursday evening for a meeting that revealed the proposed corridors for a western bypass that would connect the area of US 62 with KY 245.

The meeting presented the public with the results of the Western Bardstown Connectivity Study, which took the form of four possible options along two major corridors for a bypass that will give traffic a western route around Bardstown.

People review the corridor maps showing possible routes for a western bypass of Bardstown.

Along with residents who might be affected by the route of one of the bypass corridors, local elected officials and candidates for office were in attendance at the meeting.

One of the driving forces behind the study is the fact that the new rock quarry on Old Airport Road will soon be sending loaded trucks to their destinations — which will likely mean the trucks will have to travel Boston Road into Bardstown, and then from there to their intended destinations around the county. The truck traffic will add to the existing traffic that can at times bring Bardstown traffic to a crawl during peak traffic times, particularly when local schools are in session.

With traffic congestion already an issue — particularly on the Fifth Street – Templin Avenue corridor in the mornings and afternoons — the bypass will offer that truck traffic and other vehicles like school buses a route that won’t force them to pass through downtown Bardstown.

Jim Lemeiux, the former county engineer for Nelson County, brought copies of possible bypass routes he created years ago when it was evident a new rock quarry would located on Old Airport Road.

Some of Lemeiux’s routes mirrored the corridors the state identifiedd in the study, though Lemieux’s routes stayed close to the routes of existing roads.

Lemeiux said his maps were just his preliminary looks at possible bypass routes, and acknowledge that a bypass is an important infrastructure need for transportation and safety needs in the county and city.

Sen. Jimmy Higdon looks on as former county engineer Jim Lemieux, right, reviews a map with those who attended Thursday’s meeting about a possible western bypass.

 

The four corridors identified in the study were color coded on the study maps (see image at top of this story).

AQUA. The aqua corridor would begin at the intersection of US31E and Old Nazareth Road, cross KY 245 east of Thomas Nelson High School, then go overland until it connected with Ben Irvin Road at the rear of Sympson Lake, follow Airport Road, and connect with US62 at Bellwood Road. The route would then generally follow Bellwood Road and connect with a new interchange on the Bluegrass Parkway.

YELLOW. The yellow corridor is a shorter version of the Aqua corridor that would just connect KY245 with US 62, Boston road.

People review the maps that show the possible corridors for a western bypass of Bardstown at the public meeting Thursday at the Thomas Nelson High School cafeteria.

ORANGE. The orange corridor would create a bypass much closer to Bardstown than the first two. Orange begins at US31E in the area of Withrow Court, crosses KY 245, connects with Templin near its intersection with Ben Irvin Road. The corridor continues south, passing east of the Samuels Field airport and connects to US 62. From there, it continues overland, cross the Beech Fork River, and connects with New Haven Road north of the Bluegrass Parkway interchange.

PINK. The pink corridor is a smaller section of the Orange corridor that would connect Boston Road to KY 245. This bypass would connect both roads closer to town than the Yellow corridor.

Those who attended the meeting were given handouts on which they could rank their preference of corridors, and also decide that priority they would give to the sections of each bypass, given the fact that they would be funded and built in sections.

Most of the people viewing the maps said the most immediate transportation need is to connect KY 245 with Boston Road.

The need to build this section of bypass first was underscored by recent news that after Mago’s asphalt plant on Bloomfield Road shuts down later this year, work will begin to move it to a location near the new Airport Road rock quarry.

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