Is it the end of the road for the Veterans Memorial Parkway? Well, perhaps it can be seen from here.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet presented the alternatives being considered for the extension — and completion — of the Veterans Memorial Parkway at George Rogers Clark High School Monday night.
The public was invited to learn about the project and offer input for the potential routes the extension might take. Project manager Ananias Calvin III said his team will read all of the feedback received from the meeting.
The extension will take the parkway, which now ends at Irvine Road, south of Winchester before connecting with Ky. 627 west of the high school, or farther north and connecting with Bypass Road. The parkway will cross Muddy Creek Road and Two Mile Road, and is “needed to reduce congestion through downtown Winchester and to provide reasonable access for the traveling public to I-64 north of Winchester,” according to a pamphlet circulated at the presentation.
The meeting revealed three potential routes, which intersect at a point between 1923 and 627. One of the three could be chosen to finish the extension from the intersection, in effect creating nine possible complete routes.
This final portion could be the most difficult part of the process, Frank Hicks said. Hicks, a retired Clark County extension agent for agriculture, serves on a citizens committee for the project.
"Does it connect (with Boonesboro Road) or does it sweep across and hook up with the bypass farther down?" he said. "I see more controversy there than in other places."
It's not immediately clear if the parkway will be used to loop around the city or if the majority of traffic will use it as a bypass to get to Boonesboro Road and I-75. That would play a large role in deciding how the extension would end.
"My suspicion is that most of the traffic is going toward Boonesboro," Hicks said. "I don't have any way to prove that and won't until the road is built and it's too late to make a decision."
While that might prove to be a difficult spot for the completion of the parkway, for those who live or own land within the project corridor, it is a much smaller worry.
For Bobby and Barbara Epperson, either of the three projected routes would mean a major change to the landscape of their home.
"I would move either way," Bobby Epperson said. "I'm a country boy. I've been there 30 years. I understand you need roads. That's got to happen. I wouldn't want to live beside it."
Nancy Wills' property also would be affected.
"I understand progress, but I really hate to see a family farm that's been with a family for a 100 years be split up and farmland taken away," she said.
"The biggest challenge is that wherever you go, it's going to displace somebody," Hicks said. "Our mission was to find the route that would cause the least disruption while getting the job done. There's going to be some people who will be displaced no matter which one is chosen. We attempted to do as little of that as possible."
The feedback and comments from Monday night's presentation will be used to create an alignment for the new route. A follow-up presentation will be scheduled to reveal the final projected route.
Contact Casey Castle at email@example.com.