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Four routes unveiled for rebuild of US150E Springfield Road to county line

Judge Executive Dean Watts talks with an engineer while reviewing maps of possible routes for a rebuilt US150E, the Springfield Road.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 — Consultants with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet unveiled maps that detailed four proposed possible routes for an expanded and much improved US150 E between Maywood Drive and the Washington County line in Nelson County.

County engineer Brad Spalding reviews a map while Magistrate Gary Coulter looks on Tuesday at Parkway Baptist Church.

Transportation Cabinet personnel and consulting engineers with Palmer were on hand on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposed road routes with elected officials and their employees.

The routes were color-coded; the Red route largely followed the existing US150E from Maywood Drive to the Nelson-Washington county line.

RED (ORIGINAL) ROUTE. One of the issues engineers identified with the Red route is that while it follows the road’s original route, it also passes a string of properties in the Portland area that are deemed to be historic. And because the road project must avoid impacting those properties, doing so will require changes to the new road’s footprint to keep it narrow.

David Waldmer of Palmer Engineering said there are 17 properties eligible for the National Register of Historic Places along the original US150E route; nine of them are clustered along the original roadway in the community.

This means that in the Botland area, the road would probably be 3 lanes (a single traffic lane in each direction with a center turning lane) or 5 lanes (2 traffic lanes in each direction and one center turning lane). Both options would also require curbs and gutters as part of the new construction.

YELLOW ROUTE (NORTH). This route would depart from the old US150E just past Maywood Drive and go north of the existing US150E and head overland. It would cross Poplar Flat Road just south of Mill Creek Baptist Church, and then rejoin the original US150E route at the top of Burg Hill near Holy Trinity Cemetery Loop.

MAGENTA ROUTE (NORTH & SOUTH). The Magenta route leaves the Maywood Drive area north of the original US150E route, and stays north the area of Poplar Flat Road. At that point, it swings south of the original roadway. It completely bypasses the Botland community and stays south of Burg Hill. The road route goes behind Burg Hill and rejoins the original road right before the bridges at the Washington-Nelson County lines.

GREEN ROUTE (SOUTH). The Green route follows the original US150E route east of Parkway Drive until it reaches Bardstown Auto Wreckers. At that point, the route takes a southern path and stays south of the original highway. It bypasses Botland and Burg Hill, and rejoins the original US150E just before the bridges at the Washington-Nelson County lines.

Several members of Nelson Fiscal Court were questioning the impact that the routes bypassing the Botland area might have on existing businesses. Brad Bottoms, the District 4 project engineer, said that public input will help determine the route selected. He said that the final alignment may includ parts of two or more of the proposed routes — and that can include keeping the road along the original route through the Botland area.

Gary Sharpe, an engineer with Palmer Engineering said the cheapest route is to upgrade the existing route for an estimated $39.2 million. The other options were more expensive, ranging from $40.8 million to $47.8 million. As a federal highway, federal road funds will be responsible for funding most of the project.

WHAT’S NEXT? Sharpe said that the next step is to gather input from the public on the routes or portions of routes they prefer. The deadline for comments is May 10, and can be sent by mail or email to the District office in Elizabethtown.

Based on public input, the road’s final design will take shape later this year. Sharpe said there will be another public meeting before the end of this year to present the road’s design at that stage.

The final design or designs will be unveiled at another public meeting late this year. In the meantime, the Transportation Cabinet wants opinions and comments about the four possible routes unveiled Tuesday night.

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