Nine Steps in building a Highway
A major highway project which involves state and federal funds such as the Southern Kentucky Corridor (I-66), the Appalachian Corridor Segment will progress through nine basic steps before the project is opened to traffic.

Planning, Environmental Overview Stage

Prepare a purpose and needs statement that expresses the reasons for the project. Gather data regarding land uses, environmental overview, traffic, and economics that are influenced by the project. This step is currently underway.

Corridor Public Meeting

Share project information and general corridor location with the public and gather comments. The comments and data previously gathered will be used to develop alternative alignments that serve project purpose and need.

Identify the “Best” Alternatives

Alternative alignments will be developed based on information gathered on project impacts (environmental overview and cost estimates), and comments received from the public and from local and state government. These alternatives will be evaluated with a decision matrix to identify the "best" alternatives to pursue in the full-scale environmental basement. It is important to understand at this stage of project analysis that the “best” alternatives are actually 1000-foot-wide corridors, not a detailed alignment.

Preliminary Engineering - Environmental Assessment and Public Hearing

An in-depth, environmental assessment will be performed on the “best” alternative. A final environmental assessment document will be prepared and approved by the federal government for review by the public. This document will include a “preferred” alternative.

Official Public Hearing and Record of Decision

An official public hearing will be held to review the findings of the environmental assessment and the "preferred" alternative. Comments received from the Public Hearing will allow the environmental assessment to become a documented Record of Decision, which makes the "build alternative" for federal funding.

Final Design (US 23 to Kimper)

After the Public Hearing, if the record of decision is to proceed with the project, the final right-of-way and construction plans and specifications will be developed. In this case, the section from US 23 to Kimper will proceed to design.

Right-of-Way Acquisition and Utility Relocation (US 23 to Kimper)

Right-of-way and utility plans are used when meeting with property owners and utility companies relative to federal and state acquisition procedures of assessment, negotiations, acquisition for property parcels, and relocation of utilities.

Advertisement, Acceptance of Bids and Construction Contract Award (US 23 to Kimper)

State law, for the protection of the taxpayer, regulates the call for bids, opening and acceptance of the bid, and the award of the bid. This process usually requires about six weeks.

Construction Contract (US 23 to Kimper)

Large and complicated projects, such as this project that includes bridges and major intersections, may take more than two years to build before the road is accepted and open to traffic.

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