Recently Gov. Andy Beshear released his proposed road plan which will delay the construction of the Beaver Creek bridge until 2024, again pushing back the approximately $550 million U.S. 460 project.
On Tuesday, the Elkhorn City Council discussed the need for area residents, including themselves, to reach out to members of the legislature to voice their displeasure regarding yet another delay in a project that one city resident said “began when I was teenager and I’d like to drive on it before I die.”
During its regular meeting, the council was joined by city resident, Gypsy Cantrell-Ratliff with the United Steelworkers Union Local 14581, who encouraged the council to call the governor’s office and other members of
legislature to voice their displeasure with the delay.
“The governor has put forth his budget proposal and it pushes the bridge from its current status back five years to 2024,” Cantrell-Ratliff said. “This city needs to be up-front in telling these people we can’t stand it anymore.”
According to Mayor Mike Taylor, he has attempted to reach out to governor’s office on several occasions since discovering the delay, but has had no luck in speaking to anyone. Commissioners Roxanne Blankenship and Roger Copley said they have also made calls.
The project had been delayed a number of times in the past and was slated to begin in May, prior to Beshear presenting his road plan.
Taylor said that the city plans on making hand-outs with proper phone numbers so that any resident wanting to voice their concern will have that opportunity.
The announcement of the delay caught a number of legislators off-guard as Sen Phillip Wheeler said the move made “no sense.”
“Obviously this is a priority project for the district,” Wheeler said. “I mean especially regarding tourism and economic development up in the Elkhorn City area.”
According to Wheeler, he believes Pike County’s legislative delegation feels “very strong” regarding this matter and are expected to meet with representatives from the Transportation Cabinet in the near future.
Wheeler said making sure that bridge gets finished will his top transportation priority moving forward.