In 2017, the City of Frankfort applied for and, in 2018, was awarded a U.S. Department of Transportation grant from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. The TIGER grant application identified the Second Street corridor as the focus of anticipated improvements.
Specifically, the limits of the project are on West Second Street from Taylor Avenue to Capital Avenue and then on Capital Avenue across the river to the East Main Street intersection.
In February 2019, the Frankfort City Commission approved an agreement between the city and Strand Associates of Lexington that provided for project preliminary engineering and environmental assessment work. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) approved the environmental assessment document on Sept. 23, 2019. In summary, this document states that the project has “No Adverse Effect” on the surrounding community.
In mid-October, the preliminary engineering work culminated in KYTC’s approval of the recommended roadway and streetscape alternative. On Oct. 14, 2019, the city commission approved an amendment to the Strand Associates agreement to perform the final design, right-of-way and utility phases of the project.
Over the past seven months, the final design, right-of-way and utility phases have significantly progressed. In regards to final design, Strand Associates has reached the 90% development stage of the roadway plans. The streetscape sub-consultant, Human Nature, Inc., has also reached the 90% development stage of the streetscape plans.
Final roadway and streetscape plans will be submitted to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for review and approval. We now anticipate final plans will be completed by late June.
In regards to right-of-way acquisition, there are eight individual properties, either public or private, that are being affected by the project. All eight properties involve easements while two of the properties involve purchasing a small piece of property. Strand Associates has met with all property owners and has reached a tentative agreement with all property owners. Strand Associates will continue completing the formal right-of-way acquisition process on all eight properties so that we may seek what is formally known as right-of-way certification from KYTC. We anticipate the right-of-way process to be completed by mid-July.
The utility work associated with the project continues on East Main Street between East Broadway and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and will soon begin on Second Street. The Frankfort Plant Board’s waterline and the Frankfort Sewer Department’s (FSD) sanitary sewer line projects have been completed. The contractor for Columbia Gas is nearly finished with their gas main work on East Main Street.
Recently, the city advertised for construction bids for replacing 13 curb box inlets on East Main Street between Capital Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The city received one bid, which was well above the engineer’s estimate. We will formally reject this bid and readvertise the project.
We anticipate AT&T performing some fiber repair work on East Main Street beginning later this summer. Upon completion of all this work, the KYTC is planning to resurface this entire portion of East Main Street. We currently anticipate the resurfacing work to occur in late summer. The lane configuration for the resurfaced East Main Street hill has not yet been determined by KYTC.
Although not a part of the Second Street TIGER project, FEWPB will begin to replace a water main on East/West Main Street between East Broadway and Ann Street. There will be local traffic detours during this work.
Lastly, FEWPB and Columbia Gas are scheduled to, respectively, conduct waterline and gas main replacement work on Second Street this calendar year. As the utility work on East Main Street hill progresses toward completion, the utility activity will move to the Second Street corridor. We appreciate the community’s continuing patience and understanding as these long overdue utility projects are completed.
Our goal continues to be to keep those who are interested in this project up-to-date on project status and opportunities. We have a growing stakeholder list that will be used to share periodic e-mail updates. If interested, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide an e-mail address. You are also encouraged to visit the project website at www.frankfort.ky.gov/TIGER.
Chuck Knowles is the TIGER grant project manager for the City of Frankfort. He can be emailed at email@example.com.