The US 68/KY 80 project begun in the early 1990s. The entire project is not supposed to be completed until at least 2017, 25 years after the first public meeting. This is largely due to the lack of federal and state funds over the past two decades. The timeline below shows target dates of funding and construction costs and how they have changed significantly over the years.
Design for the Murray-Aurora section was included in the state's Six-Year Highway Plan for fiscal year 1997. Money was allocated for design and construction for portions of US 68/KY 80 through western Trigg county and in the Land Between The Lakes.
Public meeting in Murray to present three alternative routes for the new KY 80 through Calloway/Marshall counties. Southernmost route chosen.
A total of 45.5 million was allocated for the design and construction of KY 80 from Murray to Aurora in fiscal year 1999. Design funds are allocated for fiscal 1996 for the Kentucky Lake & Barkley Lake bridges.
Murray-Aurora KY 80 portion broken up into three segments with funds for construction set aside for fiscal 2000 and 2001. Final design funds are allocated for fiscal 1997 for Mayfield-Murray section. Some construction funds for this section allocated in fiscal 2001. More design funds allocated for Kentucky Lake bridge in 1996. $31 million is allocated for the construction of the Lake Barkley bridge in fiscal 2002. In addition, various monies allocated for construction of US 68 in LBL and west of Cadiz. In fact, construction should have begun on portions of US 68 west of Cadiz in 1999 and in LBL in 2001.
Construction dates are slated for 2000 and 2001 for various sections of KY 80 between Murray and Aurora. Construction slated for 2003-2004 for Murray-Mayfield section of KY 80. About $7 million is set aside for the construction of a new bridge over Kentucky Lake in fiscal 2004. Construction funds still in place for portions of US 68 west of Cadiz. Construction should have begun in 2000. Some funds are allocated for the Lake Barkley bridge in 2003-2004. Construction funds are still allocated for the three segments of KY 80 from Murray to Aurora between 2000 and 2002.
The Tennessee Valley Authority transfers control of the Land Between The Lakes to the US Forest Service. Studies and designs of the corridor through LBL are scrutinized and subsequently delays the project.
Uncertain about exactly when it happened, but the first section of KY 80 opened in Aurora, about a half-mile stretch that replaced KY 94. A new entrance to Kenlake State Park was created. The new construction was from the intersection of US 68 to the new intersection of KY 94. This section was constructed quickly, especially considering how much dirt was moved.
A six-mile section of KY 80 between Murray and Elm Grove opens. An article refers to the completion of the entire Mayfield to Murray section by Spring 2004.
More designs funds are in place for the Kentucky Lake bridge in fiscal 2004. Estimate construction cost is $72 million. All phases of US 68 construction between Lake Barkley and Cadiz had construction funds allocated for 2008. Some money for construction of Lake Barkley's new bridge is allocated in 2007 and 2008.
More funding for construction of KY 80 in from Murray to Mayfield is allocated for fiscal 2006. Kentucky Lake bridge funding estimated at $72 million; funds allocated for fiscal 2008, 2009, and 2010 for the entire project. Lake Barkley bridge funding estimated at $61 million; funds allocated for fiscal 2007, 2008, and 2009. Sections of US 68 through LBL to Cadiz are slated for construction funding for 2005 through 2010.
An eight-mile section of KY 80 between Elm Grove and Aurora is opened. The road is now complete between Murray and Aurora.
A public meeting is held at Kenlake State Park on the plans to four-lane US 68 through the Land Between the Lakes. For the first time, the public gets a detailed look of the project (sans the bridges).
Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher announced the expediting of the construction of US 68/KY 80 through LBL in a "design/build" project. $300 million is allocated for the entire project including two new bridges over the lakes. A new firm for designing the bridges is hired and the process finally begins.
The public was invited to get a glimpse of 24 different bridge designs for Kentucky & Barkley Lakes. The meeting was held at Lake Barkley State Park.
After years of funding issues and some "red tape," dirt is turned on the LBL portion of the US 68 project with a scheduled completion of 2009 or 2010.
Another public meeting was held at Kenlake State Park which showcased nine of the original 24 bridge concepts. The selection was narrowed down to nine and presented to the public.
An announcement was made that the nine original concepts for new bridges had been narrowed down to four. The next public meeting was scheduled for June 2008. Design funds of $2 million are set aside for Kentucky Lake's new bridge. Bridge is now estimated to cost $170 million, more than double the previous estimates. Construction is slated for 2012. Lake Barkley's new bridge is now estimated at $120 million. Construction slated or 2011. In previous plans, bridge construction was supposed to begin around 2002. US 68 from Lake Barkley to Cadiz now as estimated construction date of 2013. At one time, construction was scheduled to begin 14 years prior. Final surfacing construction for KY 80 from Murray to Mayfield is slated for fiscal 2010.
The final public meeting scheduled for June 12th for input on bridge design was postponed due to revised cost estimates of the bridges. A new cost estimate pegged the two bridges at $540 million which would delay the project for many years. The design team is meeting to scale back the designs and will reschedule the final public meeting in the next few months. The portion of KY 80 between Coldwater and Brinn Road (about one mile west of US 641) will become a "super-two" highway.
Although grade and drain work was completed for a four-lane highway, only two lanes will be used between Coldwater and Brinn Road. This is exclusively due to budget cuts, but it is supposed to be temporary. The "super-two" highway paving should begin this fall. The other two lanes' completion date is yet to be determined. The small section between Brinn Road and US 641 will be four-lanes and should be completed in the next few months. It should be noted here for future reference that the state is experiencing extremely difficult economic times as is the rest of the nation.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announces at the Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce that he instructed transportation cabinet officials to find money to complete the four-lane highway between Murray and Coldwater. Plans for the super-two were scrapped and the four-lane highway is scheduled to be completed late next year.
After several months of postponement, the final public meeting for the Lake Bridges project will be November 20th at 6:00 p.m. at Lake Barkley State Resort Park.
Paving contracts were let for the completion of Kentucky 80 from Brinn Road in Murray to Coldwater. Expected completion date is now early 2010. As of now, no new developments to report on the bridges spanning Kentucky & Barkley Lakes. Construction of US68/KY 80 through LBL is ongoing.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced on July 14th at Lake Barkley State Park the final design of the new bridges across Kentucky & Barkley Lakes. It was also announced this month that traffic will soon shift off the old US 68 in LBL to the eastbound lanes of the new US 68 between Kentucky Lake and the visitor's center. This is supposed to occur in late July. Further, the entire project through LBL is supposed to be complete within a few months.
The stretch of Kentucky 80 from Murray to Mayfield is 100% complete.
US 68/KY 80's western most portion from Kentucky Lake to the Trace is opened for four-lane traffic. The eastern section opened a short time later.
A large vessel struck a span of the Eggners Ferry Bridge carrying US 68/KY 80 which collapsed a portion of the bridge.
Remarkably, the Eggners Ferry Bridge span that collapsed was replaced in five months and reopened to traffic on May 25th.
Work is progressing on the lagoon bridge project which is a small bridge west of Eggners Ferry Bridge. Once the lagoon bridge is completed in 2014, work will begin on the main bridge, replacing the 81-year-old Eggners Ferry Bridge. Estimations are the project will take two years to complete after beginning. Photo at right courtesy Keith Todd.
The $131.5 million contract to replace Eggners Ferry Bridge has been awarded. Construction on the main bridge should begin very soon.
The new Lake Barkley Bridge contract was awarded on February 11th. Construction on the bridge should begin very soon. It is expected to be completed by October 2017. Meanwhile, the lagoon bridge of the west banks of Kentucky Lake has been completed for a while and progress is being made on the main bridge.
Work begins on the Cadiz bypass, expanding the highway from two to four lanes.
Fiscal 1993-1998 Kentucky Six-Year Highway Plan
Fiscal 1995-2000 Kentucky Six-Year Highway Plan
Fiscal 1997-2002 Kentucky Six-Year Highway Plan
Fiscal 1999-2004 Kentucky Six-Year Highway Plan
Fiscal 2001-2006 Kentucky Six-Year Highway Plan
Fiscal 2003-2008 Kentucky Six-Year Highway Plan
Fiscal 2005-2010 Kentucky Six-Year Highway Plan
Recommended Fiscal 2008-2014 Kentucky Six-Year Highway Plan