HARLAN, Ky. (KT) - During a community forum in Harlan on Thursday, Gov. Matt Bevin announced approval of $802,000 in Kentucky Transportation Cabinet funding to reconstruct a half-mile section of U.S. 421 in Harlan County.
This project will eliminate chronic flooding along the popular route that stretches to the Virginia state line. The funds will be used to raise the roadway, providing safe and reliable access for motorists who rely on this major Eastern Kentucky thoroughfare to access homes and jobs and to transport goods.
“This project will help to alleviate recurring flooding issues on this heavily traveled highway, improve safety for commuters, and enhance economic opportunities for the coal, logging, and other industries in the region,” Bevin said of the investment.
The half-mile section is part of a 13-mile reconstruction project that residents have been awaiting for a decade and a half. Funding was originally authorized during the Patton Administration, but only approximately 10 miles of U.S. 421 were improved — leaving the remaining 3.6 miles untouched since 2003.
The completed 10 miles of the corridor realigned the previously narrow, winding two-lane road with a straighter roadway featuring wide, paved shoulders and truck climbing lanes for large trucks to travel on steep grades without slowing traffic.