PIKEVILLE, Ky. –Area utilities are taking advantage of the road closure outside of Pikeville Medical Center to make needed upgrades.
Bypass Road in front of the hospital has been closed for the construction of a pedestrian tunnel leading from the hospital to a parking lot across the street. It was originally estimated the road would reopen before Memorial Day. But now the road is expected to be closed another 4-to-6 weeks while upgrades are made.
“We understand that people are beginning to be frustrated by the inconvenience,” Highway District 12 information officer Sara George said. “However, our first priority must be safety, for those who use the highway as well as people working on the project.”
The upgrades include:
- Auxiliary gas lines, water and gas shut-off valves, and fiber optic for Pikeville Medical Center
- Fiber optic lines for Intermountain Cable
- Power poles for Kentucky Power/AEP Gas
- Water line work by UMG New traffic signals and controls by KYTC
“After the underground utilities were exposed as part of the project excavation, several companies asked for time to improve and upgrade their lines,” Chief District Engineer Mary Westfall-Holbrook said. “It is more efficient to do this additional work while the area is already under construction, rather than come back in several months, close the road again, and tear up the same site after the tunnel is finished.”
“The road can re-open following completion of the tunnel headwalls, curbing, and paving, as well as construction on and adjacent to state right of way,” Permits Engineer Jody Hunt explained. “That way, once the road is open to traffic, it will be fully re-opened and additional lane closures and/or traffic control measures will not be needed for remaining construction adjacent to the highway.”
Each utility will pay for the cost of its own upgrades.