At a public airing Oct. 23, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials presented three alternatives to extend Ky. 9 from Wilder through downtown Newport.
Approximately 100 Newport business owners and residents showed up to learn about and comment on the alternatives.
Alternative one would extend Ky. 9, also known as the AA Highway, along Lowell Street in a route that parallels the Licking River for much of its course, eventually connecting to the Fourth Street Bridge to Covington. Alternative 2 would connect Ky. 9 to Brighton Street through Central Avenue. Alternative three would carry traffic north on Central Avenue and south on Isabella Street.
Transportation officials said that the project would improve traffic flow and safety and enhance regional connectivity.
Most residents seemed to gravitate toward the Lowell Street alternative, believing it would be the least disruptive to the city's West End neighborhoods. Among the supporters of that plan was Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli.
In reference to the second and third options, Guidugli said, "You have trucks cutting through our inner core, cutting through our streets causing problems.”
The extension could be a four- to five-lane highway, with bike paths. Pending state and federal funding approvals, it would be at least five years before the project would break ground. Early estimates put the project's cost at $15 million, transportation officials said.
The Transportation Cabinet will hold another public meeting in late 2007 or early 2008 to announce its choice.
Affected residents have until Nov. 8 to comment on the proposals at the agency's District 6 office, 421 Buttermilk Pike, Fort Mitchell, or by calling 859/341-2700.