Projects Transportation

KY-15 Planning Study / KY-15 Design Project

Breathitt County, Kentucky

DLZ was selected to prepare a major route Planning Study for KY 15 from KY 28 North of Hazard in Perry County to the Mountain Parkway at Campton in Wolfe County. The study included an in-depth engineering study, environmental overview and a final report. The Engineering Study included an evaluation of approximately 100 miles of alternate corridors to provide a four-lane divided highway. Alternate corridors were evaluated in eight (8) comparison groups, a preferred segment selected and the recommended corridor developed by combining the preferred segments. The estimated cost of construction was $425M. Project was put on hold and emphasis placed on advancing a portion of the project around Jackson in Breathitt County, Item 10-270.00.

A 13-mile section of the study with logical termini and independent utility was carved out of the 40-mile KY 15 Scoping Study, and we developed the Preliminary Engineering and Final Design. Environmental Baseline Studies were completed early in the preliminary alignment investigation to avoid sensitive environmental issues. A “Preferred Alignment” was developed based on consideration of all engineering and environmental factors. Major design considerations were providing river crossings that limited impact to flood plains, minimizing excavation in a rugged mountainous terrain (325’ cuts and 165’ fills), providing improved access to the city of Jackson and avoiding sensitive environmental areas.

Several drainage issues were analyzed that demanded complex and innovative solutions including stream mitigation measures, energy dissipation and stream flow modification. Permitting was a major consideration with the Corps of Engineers policy change on ephemeral stream evaluations. We had to quickly adapt to this policy change and account for waste sites and their permitting prior to letting the project.