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Bypass construction to resume

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By Lisa King

Winter appears to be over, and that means that construction will resume next week on the Shelbyville Bypass.

Andrea Clifford, spokesperson for the Department of Highways District 7, said that with the exception of a slight diversion at Warriors Way, where the speed limit has been reduced to 35 miles per hour, she doesn't expect the construction to cause any major delays or traffic tie-ups.

Clifford said the contract that Shelby County has with the state gives the state a certain amount of days to finish this $26.1 million project.

"With the number of working days we have left, it would take us up to next spring if they used all their remaining time, but we hope it will be finished by November," she said.

Clifford said most of the remaining construction needs to be done from the railroad tracks to Highway 55 toward Eminence.

"That's the main area; they'll be doing the grading and concrete paving," she said. "We already have the majority of the other main work done."

Local officials agree that the construction should not cause any undue delays.

"We never have had any issues with it in the city," Shelbyville Police Maj. Danny Goodwin said, adding that he is looking forward to the completion of the project.

"When it's finished, it will allow big trucks to get through Shelbyville without having to go through town," he said. "And it will also give people access to the schools without having to go all the way down Washington Street."

Clifford said that the concrete paving between US 60 and the CSX railroad tracks is essentially complete and that the contractor has also completed construction on a bridge over the railroad and a bridge over Clear Creek. Intersection work is also complete at Burks Branch Road.

The contractor still has grading and drainage work to complete between the railroad and KY 55 before further concrete paving can be done.  There's also intersection work to be done at KY 53, near Painted Stone Elementary and West Middle School.

"The only detour we have scheduled is a very slight one on Kentucky 53, which only amounts to just having traffic go around a very short distance of about 100 feet, then they're right back on the road," she said.

The Shelby County Road Department has also been helping maintain the work that the state has already done on the bypass, Supervisor Carl Henry said.

"We have patched potholes on Harrington Mill," he said. "Matt Bullock [engineer for the project] said it would not open until it is all done."

The Shelbyville Bypass will encompass 4.5 miles. Compared to surrounding counties, Franklin County has an East-West interstate connector road (KY 676) that is 5.2 miles long, and Jefferson County has I-264 (23 miles long) and I-265 (34 miles long).

No other surrounding county has a bypass or similar type of road.