The completion of a relocated U.S. 641 from Fredonia to Eddyville remains a top priority for some, but the project is absent from the 2020 Recommended Highway Plan released last week.
Caldwell County Judge-Executive Larry Curling, however, is not concerned with the omission. His philosophy is to preserve what you have before you add more to the almost 27,600 miles of state-maintained roadway.
"I have always told our lawmakers to repair and repave the roads we have," he told The Times Leader. "If you do not have the money to take care of the existing roads, why build more roads?
"The top priority for me is and will always be to repave our existing roads."
U.S. 641 does appear on the list of proposed projects for Lyon County. The highway plan shows $5.29 million for right-of-way acquisition and utility construction in 2021 and $19.13 million for construction in 2024. The first leg of the project from Marion to Fredonia was completed in December 2018.
The highway plan has a long way to go before being finalized before adjournment of the current session of the Kentucky General Assembly on April 15. And state Rep. Chris Freeland, R-Benton, who represents Lyon County in Frankfort, believes the entire project will make the final cut when the six-year plan is sent to Gov. Andy Beshear.
"I still feel confident plans will proceed as scheduled because of the money and time already invested in this project," he said. "The 641 project is my number one priority, and I know (Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade) White and many others in Lyon, Caldwell and Crittenden want to finally get this done, too."
Appearing on the preliminary road plan for Caldwell County were three projects, one of which was a mistake, Curling said.
The proposal offers $4.4 million for design and construction to address almost 3.5 miles of pavement concerns on Interstate 69 beginning near the 83-mile marker. It also shows $50,000 for guardrail installation on Ky. 139 at the 18.2-mile marker.
Curling said $15.34 million for a new connector from Hopkinsville Road to Wilson Warehouse Road north of Princeton was printed in error.
"(It) is a misprint and has been removed," he said Friday.