Road Plan Update

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House District 24

Brandon Reed

One of the most important functions of my job as your state representative is to fight for funding for key road and bridge projects in our communities.

Improving infrastructure is one of the best things we can do to spur economic activity in our communities. Our highways affect many different facets of the economy, ranging from the distribution of goods to providing a reliable route for consumers to go out and spend their money. Small businesses in particular depend on a safe and reliable network of infrastructure, in order to better invest in our communities and create jobs.

Even as you have heard significant noise out of Frankfort, much of the media has failed to report on the huge investment we made in rural infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

Our road plan was crafted with a focus on improving safety, better maintaining our roads and bridges, and promoting economic development. It invests over $300 million in resurfacing pavement statewide, putting us on track to catch up to a $1 billion backlog. It also invests more than $500 million over two years to repair and replace bridges, as Kentucky has a growing list of structurally deficient bridges.

I am pleased to report that the road plan passed by the General Assembly and signed into law is also very favorable for LaRue County. It puts dollars straight into improving our major highways, as well as looking out for the county bridges utilized by many of our citizens.

In bringing home key infrastructure projects, I did so in a way that is responsible. Typically, the road plan passed in Frankfort is over-programmed, meaning more projects are included than there is money for. In the 2016 road plan, the projects included cost more than double what was budgeted, meaning there was no chance for many of the projects to be completed.

But we operated differently. Our road plan was only over-programmed by just under 15 percent – meaning nearly every project included will likely come to fruition. This is a huge step in the right direction from the 2016 plan, which was over-programmed by a whopping 214%. 

That is critically important. It means that millions in highway money will go toward making improvements to our roads and bridges, including safety and maintenance work on Highway 84 from Hodgenville to I-65.

In this road plan, deficiencies will finally be addressed on the bridge over the South Fork Branch on Highway 61, beginning immediately in fiscal year 2019. Bridge projects are often forgotten, but critically important for all who need access to safe transportation. 

On another note, I sponsored House Resolution 82, a measure adopted by the House that recognizes May 9, 2018 as State Employee Recognition Day. All of our public employees are valuable, and deserve recognition for the services they provide. 

Thank you to every public servant, from the state highway employees who keep our roadways safe to the Circuit Clerk’s office that manages our courts. I am also thankful to the valuable state troopers who protect our citizens, and everyone else who keeps our Commonwealth running vibrantly. I was honored to play a part in us finally doing our duty and fully funding the retirement of our public employees, for the first time in nearly two decades. The days of legislators ignoring the needs of our public servants are over.

It is an honor for me to represent all of you in Frankfort. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you ever need anything.

Rep. Brandon Reed represents the 24th House district, which includes Green, Larue, and Marion counties, in the Kentucky General Assembly. Contact him with any questions, concerns, or advice. He can be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181, or via e-mail at Brandon.Reed@LRC.KY.GOV.