PRELIMINARY "BEST" ALIGNMENT ANALYSIS
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Preliminary Alignment Analysis Map
The purpose of project Phase IA (March 2000 to November 2000) was to reduce the number of possible roadway alternatives within the designated three-mile wide corridor identified by earlier studies. The corridor extends from US 23 south of Pikeville to the King Coal Highway (I-73 / 74 Corridor) south of Matewan in Mingo County, West Virginia.

During Phase IA numerous project alignments were identified and reduced based on I-66 ACT member and Public Meeting comments.

The final reduction of alternates is needed to identify the "best" two alignments, for entry into the detailed analysis phase, i.e., Phase IB preliminary engineering and full environmental assessment. To effectively move this project through Phase IB requires that a very limited number of "reasonable" alternatives be investigated. Therefore, the "best" two will be selected based on information contained in the decision-matrix and I-66 ACT member comment. To assist the I-66 ACT membership in their deliberation, the following comments have been prepared regarding several link comparisons.

Beginning on the western end of the project at US 23 and extending eastward, the comments are conditioned on an attempt to identify a "best" northern alternate and a "best" southern alternate.

NORTHERN ALTERNATE
Comparison of Line Segment EHGK versus Line Segment EFILK
DETERMINANTS EHGK EFILK
Cost of Project   +$105M
Possible Relocations +35  
Geotechnical Conditions Best Worst
Length of Truck Lanes 5.4 miles 8.4 miles
Length of Blue Line Streams 3.6 miles 4.3 miles
Mineral Values Impacted $5.1M $7.5M

"Best" Alignment Rationale
The alignment segment AEHGK costs less, has less environmental impacts and has an easier to negotiate vertical profile than alignment AEFHLK. The only negative condition involves the possible number of residential relocations. In Phase IB every effort will be taken to avoid these possible relocations during final design. Therefore, it would seem that alignment segment AEHGK would be the "Best" alignment for the northern alternative.
SOUTHERN ALTERNATE
Comparison of Line Segment DFIL versus Line Segment DIL
DETERMINANTS DFIL DIL
Cost of Project   +$9M
Possible Relocations +27  
Possible Fishtrap Lake WMA No Yes
Encroachment    
Geotechnical Conditions Best Worst
Blue Line Streams 2.9 miles 4.7 miles

"Best" Alignment Rationale
The alignment segment BDFIL seems to offer the "best" alignment conditions due to least cost, least chance of impact on the Fishtrap Lake Wildlife Management Area, and more opportunity for future interchange access into the Upper and Lower Pompey area. The negative impact seems to be the number of potential relocations, but every effort will be taken to minimize this impact. Comments have been received from committee members and the Corps of Engineers about needing to provide access to the lake area but to also avoid encroachment into the immediate area around the lake.

Comparison of Line Segment NQR with Line Segment OQR
DETERMINANTS NQR OQR
Cost of Project +$99M  
Possible Relocations +47  
Number of Mines Impacted +2  
Geotechnical Conditions Best Worst
Blue Line Streams 4.7 miles 1.5 miles
Potential Industrial Development Opportunities Less More

"Best" Alignment Rationale
The alignment K'OQR seems to offer the "best" alignment conditions due to least cost, least relocations, least impacts and greater industrial development potentials. Also, this alignment offers greater future access potential to the Phelps area because of its relative location to KY 632 and KY 194. All determinants seem to point to Line Segment K'OQR as the "best" alignment.

Comparison of Line Segment RT versus Line Segment RU
DETERMINANTS RT RU
Population Served 6,050 4,950
Cost of Project   +$279M
Possible Relocations   +3
Mineral Value Impacted   +$3.1Mt

"Best" Alignment Rationale
Normally, both alignments would be carried into Phase IB for a full environmental investigation, but Line RT seems to be the "best" on almost every evaluation basis. The difference is great enough to question the "reasonableness" of Line Segment RU. Information not included in the decision-matrix that was shared in an I-66 ACT committee meeting was the condition that Line Segment RU was involved in an area that had numerous underground mine fires. This condition plus all the other positive information strongly points to Line Segment RT as the only "reasonable" alignment to pursue in Phase IB.
-----Summary of Findings-----

Based on the above findings project purpose and needs and analysis rationale, it seems that the two "best" alignments to be carried into Project Phase IB (full environmental assessment) would be:

Northern Alignment: AEHGKRT Southern Alignment: BDFILK'OQRT

It is also recommended that two crossover connections be included in the Phase IB environmental assessment. These crossovers complement other Line Segments to provide better conformance with project purpose and need. For example, the northern alignment near Pikeville better satisfies the quality of life issues, such as hospitals, educational facilities, etc., whereas the southern Line Segment that crosses KY 194 closer to Fishtrap Lake better satisfies the recreational needs. So a composite alignment may end up being the best of all alignments. Therefore, two crossover line segments have been included and will be part of the Phase IB analysis. These crossover line segments are:
North to South Crossover: H-I South to North Crossover: I-G

These crossovers are positioned where the north and south alignment are close together to reduce construction costs, and aid the northern and southern alignments to better achieve the Project Purpose and Needs conditions.
-----Estimated Costs of Best Alignments-----

NORTHERN ALTERNATE: AEHGKRT
SEGMENT COST (dollars) LENGTH (miles) COST/MILE
(millions)
A-E $102,086,518 0.8 $130
E-H $150,963,995 4.5 $34
H-G $197,239,322 3.1 $63
G-K $148,460,627 4.0 $37
K-R $814,061,379 12.8 $64
R-T $217,722,686 3.7 $59
TOTAL $1,630,534,526 28.8 $57*

SOUTHERN ALTERNATE: BDFILK'OQRT
SEGMENT COST (dollars) LENGTH (miles) COST/MILE
(millions)
B-D $345,161,945 3.7 $93
D-F $130,414,185 2.9 $45
F-I $78,033,613 2.5 $35
I-L $38,216,896 1.6 $24
L-K' $111,678,641 3.2 $35
K'-O-Q-R $864,395,784 14.8 $58
R-T $217,722,686 3.7 $59
TOTAL $1,785,623,750 32.4 $55*

NORTH TO SOUTH CONNECTOR
SEGMENT COST (dollars) LENGTH (miles) COST/MILE
(millions)
H-I $103,191,452 2.0 $52*

SOUTH TO NORTH CONNECTOR
SEGMENT COST (dollars) LENGTH (miles) COST/MILE
(millions)
I-G $39,503,514 4.5 $26*
*INCLUDES COSTS OF DESIGNATED INTERCHANGES



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