KY 114/Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway Environmental Assessment
Lochmueller Group (Lochgroup) prepared all environmental documentation for the reconstruction and widening of a 20.9-mile section of KY 114 from south of Salyersville to just west of the US 23 interchange in Prestonsburg. Steep grades, numerous sharp horizontal curves, and limited sight distance combined to form a facility that was deficient by current standards.
An Environmental Assessment (EA) and eight baseline reports were prepared including:
- Air Quality Analysis
- Hazardous Materials
- Aquatic Resources
- Terrestrial Resources
- Noise Analysis
- Socioeconomic Analysis
- Historic Study
- Archaeological Study
Several environmental areas of concern were present within the limits of the proposed project. These included right-of-way and relocations; farmland impacts; impacts to wetlands and streams requiring permits; and archaeological and historic sites associated with a Civil War battlefield. The baseline reports were completed and approved by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Part of identifying possible impacts required interviewing residents and community leaders along the corridor. The problem was how to get to these parties to receive their comments. Lochgroup’s solution was to invite them to a party.
For two days, a roadside information station was manned by Lochgoup along with KYTC, and the Federal Highway Administration. Food was served and entertainment was provided by volunteers dressed as the Crash Test Dummies and Buckle-Up Bear. Balloons were given out to children, and people were asked to fill out questionnaires regarding the project. Almost 300 questionnaires were completed providing excellent information on the possible impacts to the residents and businesses along the proposed improvement project area. This innovative public outreach and accompanying media relations campaign contributed to the successful public perception and acceptance of this project.