Kentucky House panel gets rundown of Transportation Cabinet’s six-year road plan

Republished from WEKU.

Members of a legislative budget committee got a broad overview of the 2024 recommended State Highway Plan Monday. It came through testimony of top officials in the Transportation Cabinet. The plan includes more than $7 billion in federal money and almost a billion in state funds over the next six years. Deputy Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said cost increases across the plan mean relatively few new projects are included.

“I was asked a few weeks ago if I thought we were slower about the development of projects. We are not. If there any slowness in anything, it’s trying to make sure we have the dollars available to do the work that we need to do,” said Hancock.

Hancock told the House Transportation Budget Review Panel the state was not successful in winning a federal grant for the expansion of the mountain parkway and the Interstate 69 Ohio River Crossing.

Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray says the Commonwealth will re-apply and there are other federal grant opportunities.

“These big funding buckets..many of them are new through the bipartisan infrastructure law and there’s competition for those funds, but we know what we’re doing. We’re very competitive. We’ll stay in the game,” said Gray.

Gray said they need $300 million in general funds suggested in the Governor’s budget to secure federal grant dollars. Committee GOP Member Tom Smith of Corbin said he’d like information on raising the State’s gas tax for transportation by a penny in light of the ongoing legislative work to lower the income tax rate.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.