Kentucky Transportation Official Says No US 68/KY 80 Speed Limit Increase Until Project Complete

Dec 10, 2013

Some officials are pushing for a 65 mile per hour speed limit on US 68/KY 80, but Kentucky’s transportation cabinet secretary said now isn’t the time.

Mike Hancock said he’s reluctant to change the speed limit since many tourists come to western Kentucky.

“At Aurora you run into an 18-foot wide bridge. And I’m the guy with the pen in my hand in Frankfort who signs this memorandum that creates the 65 mile per hour speed limit,” he said. “I don’t want to look at the family of someone who came upon that bridge at 75 miles per hour and hit that bridge not knowing that an 18-foot wide bridge awaited them."

Hancock said when the cabinet finishes the bridges on 68/80 and widens the road he will raise the speed limit.

Hancock also said Kentucky could lose nearly $650 million in federal funding for road projects if Congress does not put more money in the Highway Trust Fund. He said the fund could be completely depleted by 2015 and could have an effect in Kentucky.

I don’t want to be an alarmist. Certainly am not trying to create any hysteria,” he said. “But for members of our General Assembly and for others for whom the six year highway plan is being put together we just want to be perfectly honest and make sure people appreciate that it is a potential issue. We are preparing our highway plan as if that is not going to be an issue. Our intention is to keep those very big projects going here in far western Kentucky.”

Among those big projects are the I-69 development and completion of US 68/KY 80 from Mayfield to Bowling Green. Hancock added that the next big project in western Kentucky is fixing the Cairo bridge.

He shared these comments at an economic development conference at Murray State Tuesday.