Gov. Beshear Announces Crittenden County School Safety Project To Break Ground on U.S. 60 in Marion

PADUCAH, Ky. (May 23, 2024) – A nearly $1.9 million project kicks off next week at Crittenden County schools to enhance safety and accessibility through Gov. Andy Beshear’s education-first and safety commitment to Kentuckians. Work on a new turn lane and other enhancements will begin along U.S. Highway 60 in Marion next week.

Contractors expect work will start May 28 on a center turn lane that will serve two school entrances near the Crittenden County Middle School and High School complex, as well as two hospital entrances at the Crittenden County Hospital. The turn lane will extend about a quarter mile west of the school entrance to connect with Country Club Drive, where buses turn to access the elementary school about a mile away.

“Team Kentucky places a high priority on ensuring that all of our students, parents, teachers and staff have a safe way to travel,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are excited that this project is starting, and construction is expected to be near completion by the time school resumes in mid-August.”

In 2021, Gov. Beshear announced plans to invest $24.5 million to improve highway safety near schools and protect families by funding more than 60 highway safety projects across 43 counties. The safety projects range from new turn lanes and crosswalks to improved pavement markings and signage. To date, 38 projects have been completed, with another 13 under contract for construction.

“Team Kentucky is dedicated to meeting our promise to provide safe and efficient travel routes to work and school for everyone in the commonwealth,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “Our team is dedicated to seeing this turn lane and other safety projects like it completed.”

While the project will improve access to the school complex and hospital, it will also reduce congestion for motorists traveling the busy U.S. 60 corridor to and from work. Approximately 4,000 vehicles travel U.S. 60 through the project area in an average day.

The project includes replacement of an aging culvert, as well as replacement of several smaller culverts and other enhancements with paving along more than three miles of U.S. 60 immediately west of the turn lane project.

Work on the turn lane is expected to start May 28 with one-lane traffic controlled by an automated signal.

Jim Smith Contracting is the prime contractor on the nearly $1.9 million project expected to be completed in August 2024.

Some lane closures will be required through the summer to facilitate some phases of the work. KYTC District 1 will provide frequent updates on the traffic flow plan as the work progresses.