KYTC weighs options for new route of U.S. 641

PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Engineers are developing alternate alignments for reconstruction of U.S. 641 around Fredonia to Eddyville.

Crews have completed most of their survey work along a wide swath between the two communities.

Apparently there has been speculation the new highway will run through Fredonia, displacing some area businesses.

"We have not selected a route," said KYTC Chief District Engineer Jim LeFevre said.  "However, we are required by law to look at all options, to weigh them based on the information we've gathered, and develop alternatives that best provide for traffic flow while minimizing the effect on the community."

Project engineers and designers will develop alternate alignments for the Fredonia-Eddyville section for review by area citizens in a public meeting, likely sometime in 2013.

Construction has already started on "grade and drain" work along U.S. 641 in Crittenden County.  The $18 million grade and drain along the 5.5 mile project is the first step in widening U.S. 641 from Marion to Eddyville.

The new four-lane is aimed at helping attract new investment and jobs, and providing an improved transportation route for existing industries and the public.

The 5.5 mile section is expected to be ready for paving in late 2014 or early 2015.

Plans call for the new four-lane highway to cross the existing two-lane U.S. 641 between the Fredonia city limits and the Caldwell-Crittenden county line.

The highway will route west of Fredonia, then roughly follow the existing highway to within a few miles of Eddyville.

When completed, the new highway will provide an improved connection to Interstate 69 and I-24.

The estimated cost of the entire 16-mile project is about $109 million-$39 million for the Marion Fredonia section and $70 million for the section from Fredonia to Eddyville.

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