Saturday, April 06, 2002

Mall Road being linked

Extension to Hopeful Church to ease traffic

By Gina Holt
Enquirer Contributor

        BURLINGTON — Although some nearby residents are still opposed, work will begin immediately on a $1.8 million road connecting Mall Road and Hopeful Church Road.

        Traffic and planning officials say the road, to be built next to Kroger on Mall Road and end at the intersection of Hopeful Church and Cayton roads, may solve some of the severe traffic holdups on Ky. 18.

        No homes or businesses will be lost to the project and right of way was given to the county by North American Properties, owner of the shopping center.

        James Parson, Boone county administrator, said the connector is a much-needed road. People who live off Hopeful Church have to use one of the city's main arteries to get home from Mall Road.

        “That's why you have so much congestion on Ky. 18 and (U.S.) 42,” he said. “It gives us another access point in that area.”

        Boone County Fiscal Court on Tuesday approved $114,000 for utility relocation to prepare for construction of the unnamed road, which will begin in July.

        “That's a slow process that will sometimes hold up a project,” Mr. Parson said about utility relocation. “We wanted to get ahead of the game.”

        It will cost $80,000 for the relocation of telephone lines, $22,000 for gas and electric lines, $5,000 for Florence water and sewer lines, $4,000 for county water lines and $3,000 for cable lines.

        The 4,000-foot, two-lane road was originally going to be funded through a partnership of the city of Florence, the state and Boone County.

        Mr. Parson said although the city is in favor of the project, it dropped about a year ago, saying it couldn't be a part of it because of other projects.

        “The county thought it was an important project and decided to move forward with it,” said Mr. Parson.

        The state will pay $550,000 of the project. “Our share will be a little more than two-thirds,” Mr. Parson said.

        The county is aware of the opposition by nearby residents on Chelsea Square, Mr. Parson said, but hopes they understand the road will benefit the county as a whole.

        “We don't believe it's going to have any negative impact,” he said. “It shouldn't increase any traffic in their subdivision. They'll have a road in the back of their homes but it will be properly screened.”

        Ron Vandament, 66, resident of Chelsea Square, is not happy the road is being built. “They're going to take out the buffer between me and the shopping center and the trees between me and the shopping center.”

        Mr. Vandament said he understands the traffic problems Florence faces, but does not think this is the answer. He's afraid people will use the connector as a way to avoid Ky. 18 and U.S. 42 altogether and access the expressway from Mall Road.

        Tracy Becker, 35, a convention planner who lives in Persimmon Grove, a subdivision off Cayton, said she is in favor of the connector. “I have to go all the way to 18 when I could go straight across,” she said.

        “I know it will increase traffic a little (on Hopeful Church) but Mall Road traffic is ridiculous. You already have enough congestion on 18 anyway.”

        Ruth Moore, 30, a mother of three who lives on Cayton, said she sees negatives and positives of the new road.

        “It's going to alleviate a lot of traffic problems at 18 and 42,” she said. “Traffic is going to pick up on Hopeful Church though.”

        Mrs. Moore said having a connecter road could make the area more pedestrian-friendly. “Having a road there would make it a lot easier if we just wanted to walk to the mall. I won't walk on 18.”


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