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Fri February 20, 2009
Stimulus Money to Fund Transportation Projects
By Carrie Pond
Frankfort, KY – Preliminary estimates show Kentucky could receive over 421 million dollars from the federal stimulus package for highway and transportation enhancement projects. But as Carrie Pond reports it is still too early to tell how much of this money will reach Western Kentucky.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet members are still waiting on official numbers, but if current estimates hold, around $53.2 million of that would go toward transportation enhancement and metropolitan planning projects. Spokesperson Robin Jenkins says that would leave roughly $367.9 million to be programmed through the KY Highway Plan.
"We meet with the counties and cities and talk about the projects that are of need in their area and compile all those projects. And take a look at the cost and urgency and compile the Highway plan and present it to the legislature. It's a conglomeration of efforts to get it approved."
Jenkins says to receive stimulus money projects must be eligible for federal aid and must be "shovel-ready," or able to begin construction in the next 6 months. This means eligible projects will likely have already started preliminary work like purchasing right of way or taking utilities out to the project area. Jenkins says she won't know how much of that figure will go to western Kentucky projects until a definite funding number is available. The cabinet will have up to a year to allocate stimulus money after receiving official disbursement.