State and local officials met in Murray on Wednesday to discuss expanding highway 641 South in Calloway County to the Tennessee state line.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District One executive director Mike McGregor said the agency will start as early as this fall on three separate projects for the stretch of highway.
The first project involves relocating utilities along the proposed corridor for the full expansion. The second is a short-term project that will implement safety improvements for the current highway- like widening shoulders and providing more road signs. The third will be the overall reconstruction of 641 that could take up to 15 years.
McGregor said the extent of the expansion is dependent on the amount funding they receive.
“You know it could be anywhere an improved two-lane, with improved shoulders and all that, to a four-lane.” McGregor said.
McGregor said currently, the short-term project has $1.4 million provided through the Highway Safety Improvements Program to work on "spot-treatments" along the current highway. He said the larger reconstruction has an estimate of $40 to $50 million-with room to change depending on funding. The project is listed at the top of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s SHIFT prioritization model in west Kentucky. Officials said a high number of vehicle accidents are the biggest reason for the expansion, followed by traffic concerns. Calloway County Sheriff Sam Steger said there are nearly 22 accidents on that stretch of road each year. Murray resident Linda Blakely said the project is a long-awaited change. “I’ve lived on that road all my life, just about it. It’s just a common thing, you hear a wreck and you know what’s happened.” Blakely said. McGregor said progress could begin as early as this fall.