A long-sought initiative to widen highway 641 south of Murray may have the state’s support next fiscal year.
The Purchase Area Development District's Regional Transportation Committee (correction: previous copy omitted attribution to the Regional Transportation Committee) develops an annual list of priority road projects within the 8-county region to recommend to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Murray-Calloway Economic Development President Mark Manning says two of Calloway’s 4 submissions received the 1st and 3rd priority ranking, both would widen 641 to a four lane corridor.
He says the widening has been proposed in previous years, but never received the funding or support to gain much momentum.
“It moves it back to the top of the list for our region.," said Manning. "Which gives our legislators and the state department of transportation a good clear focus that this is a project that the entire region will benefit from, and I’ll tell you, from an economic development standpoint, it will be huge.”
Manning says the project will also help reduce the high number of accidents on the current two-lane 641 south.
“Unfortunately, there are a high number of wrecks and fatalities on this road, and we don’t need to see any more students dying in accidents," said Manning. "And from an economic standpoint, the road will pay for itself, it’s really going to bring in a lot of commerce from the south that comes in to Murray to shop and do business.”
The 641 widening is broken into two projects: one to widen the road from Glendale Road to the Clarks River Bridge, the other to continue work to the state border.