Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Officials pitch Ky. 16 options

Lack of consensus, land buys could delay construction start

By Sarah Buehrle
Enquirer Contributor

        TAYLOR MILL — More than 400 people crammed into the Scott High School gym Monday night to find out if they might lose their homes or businesses because of proposed widening and rerouting of Ky. 16.

        Booming residential construction — about 20 subdivisions are under way south of Taylor Mill — is one of the factors cited by local and state officials who are calling for an upgrade of Ky. 16.

        Officials of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and District 6 of the Department of Highways hat the meeting to show residents two alternate routes being considered to alleviate what they said was dangerous congestion along the present road.

        “Most people realize that there is a congestion problem and that it continues to worsen,” District 6 official Richard Guidi said.

        “Also, last year there were 118 accidents on this stretch of road, and most people realize that is far too many.”

        Four routes previously were shown to the public in September 1999. The two alternatives presented Monday were Alternative 2 and Alternative 4.

        Alternative 2 would follow Ky. 16, widen the existing road from two lanes to five, and would remove more homes, said Michael Bezold, a transportation engineer for the state.

        Alternative 4 would also follow Ky. 16, but would then veer off onto Old Taylor Mill Road, where there are fewer homes and businesses, but where more natural environmental up heaval would occur. Mr. Guidi said this alternate is the “better engineering solution.”

        At the start of the meeting, reasons for choosing the routes and residents' rights were explained. Afterward, residents were invited to view maps of the routes, to ask questions, and to put their opinions on

        record through a freelance court reporter or by using a written survey form.

        Karen O'Connor, 37, has lived in Taylor Mill all life, and built her home on her parents' farm. The proposed alternates would put a five-lane highway on her land between her house and her parents.

        “They had their whole dog and pony show, but I don't think it's changed anything,” Ms. O'Connor said. “What I had to say doesn't mean anything to them.”

        Taylor Mill Mayor Mark Kreimborg said he does not support either of the proposed routes.

        “I would still like to see an east-west corridor south of the city,” the mayor said. “I don't want to see Taylor Mill ruined with a five-lane road.”

        Mr. Bezold said that there is enough support in the communi ty to go ahead with the project.

        After the environmental reports for the project are finished, the next step will be to get environmental approval from the Federal Highway administration. Mr. Bezold said the next public hearing could be one to two years away.

        Right-of-way acquisition was supposed to begin in 2003, and construction on Ky. 16 was scheduled to start in 2005. But Mr. Guidi said, partially because of a lack of consensus, right-of-way might not be acquired until 2005, pushing construction to 2007.

        Residents can put their opinion on record for the next two weeks by mailing them to Charles Meyers, chief district engineer, at 421-423 Buttermilk Pike, P.O. Box 17130, Fort Mitchell, Ky. 41017.


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