Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Charlie Allen, of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, speaks with an area resident regarding Alternate C of the Leitchfield bypass extension project.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Charlie Allen, of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, speaks with an area resident regarding Alternate C of the Leitchfield bypass extension project.

Approximately 100 people attended a public meeting hosted by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on Tuesday regarding the proposed project to extend William Thomason Byway.

Representatives from the transportation cabinet and American Engineers, Inc. (AEI) were on hand to field questions from community members and take feedback on six proposed options for the western extending the bypass to KY 54.

The goal of the project is to improve traffic flow, safety, and economic development by allowing motorists to avoid taking US 62 and KY 54 into congested downtown Leitchfield traffic when heading toward KY 259.

It is also expected to allow drivers quicker and easier access to the Western Kentucky Parkway, which, officials say, would be of significant benefit to the many manufacturers located west of Leitchfield that currently use US 62 and/or KY 54 to reach the parkway.

The six alternates were labeled Alternate A, B, C, D, E, and No Build, and area residents were encouraged to give feedback on their preferred option.

The options (all of which can be viewed online at https://transportation.ky.gov/DistrictFour/Pages/default.aspx) vary based on the scope of the extension, as well as what route it will take, and transportation cabinet officials have said they will take into consideration the community's preferred alternate when making their final selection.

Estimated Construction Costs for the five options displayed Tuesday are as follows:

Alternate A: $23.5 million

Alternate B: $23.8 million

Alternate C: $22.8 million

Alternate D: $22.6 million

Alternate E: $15.4 million

Area resident Nancy Hack said that, even though the project would see the bypass extend through her property, she feels it is what is best for the community and preferred Alternate B, which would likely see the state buy her entire property out-right, as opposed to the others, which would bring traffic through her backyard.

Hack said the transportation cabinet representatives on hand Tuesday were very helpful and knowledgeable of the various options presented and were willing to accept input from the community members in attendance.

Ron Douthitt, a Priddy Crossing resident, said he likes the idea of continuing the bypass to KY 54 because it would re-route a portion of Grayson County High School traffic and, hopefully, reduce the number of traffic collisions that occur in the area.

While the various plans have been drawn up, the project to extend the bypass remains contingent upon the receipt of federal "Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development" (BUILD) grant funding.

City, county, and state officials have applied for this grant funding, and are currently awaiting notice of whether the grant will be awarded.

For more information on the project, visit https://transportation.ky.gov/DistrictFour/Pages/default.aspx.

Written comments will also be accepted for the official public meeting record through next Friday, Aug. 17. Written comments may be mailed to Brad Bottoms, PE, KYTC District 4 Office, 634 East Dixie Highway, Elizabethtown, KY 42701 or emailed to bradley.bottoms@ky.gov.