Lawmaker pursues toll road in northern Kentucky

| 12/22/2005

If a Kentucky state lawmaker gets his way, a long-dormant effort to construct a multi-county highway in the northern most part of the state would become reality.

Rep. Paul Marcotte, R-Union, wants to speed up the project by making the highway that would run through southern Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties a toll road.

Marcotte said the highway is needed to serve the fast-growing suburban communities in the area by connecting Interstates 75/71 to Kentucky AA Highway and U.S. 27.

Turning the route into a toll road that would pay for itself would help get the project done sooner while many other projects are ahead in line for transportation dollars that are scarce in the state, Marcotte told The Kentucky Post .

Marcotte, who will retire from the Legislature after the 2006 session, doesn't have a specific route in mind, but he said state Highway 536 could be a starting point.

Marcotte said the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet could work out the details of the plan.

The state, which has a history of toll roads, now operates two. They are the Audubon Parkway connecting Owensboro and Henderson and the William H. Natcher Parkway between Bowling Green and Owensboro.

At one time, Kentucky had 10 toll roads. The two most recent to become toll-free routes were the Daniel Boone Parkway, now Hall Rogers Parkway, which stretches from London to Hazard, and the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway, which connects Interstate 65 north of Bowling Green to Somerset. The roads were switched over in 2003.

The Kentucky General Assembly would need to approve any toll road project. The 2006 session begins next month.