Highway 54 widening project on fast track

Highway 54 widening project on fast track

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - There’s no question there’s a lot of traffic on Highway 54. Even community leaders avoid the area.

“From eight in the morning to eight at night, it’s tough to get anywhere," Judge Executive Al Mattingly said. "So as a matter of fact, I live kind of out in that area and I have found the back ways to get around instead of getting out on 54 because it’s a mess.”

But some of those traffic issues could be alleviated soon with the addition of $5 million that was originally allocated to another project in the state. When that project wasn't in need of that immediate money, it was handed over for the Highway 54 project the judge executive tells us.

“It’s exciting anytime you get more money for a project," Mattingly said. "Number one it makes it more of a reality but number two it also tells you you’re not out of sight out of mind.”

For local bakery owner Donna Wedding, she knows first hand how the congestion on 54 can affect her business.

“We hear all the time that people don’t want to come out here because of the traffic basically," Wedding said. "People just don’t like 54, there’s too many stoplights.”

But she knew that coming to the area over a year ago was a smart move for her shop.

“We chose to be out here because everything’s coming out this way," she said.

But in order to get those improvements, major construction will cause some major delays in the area.

“It’s gonna get worse before it gets better," Mattingly said.

Mattingly also says besides the traffic, the amount of accidents in the area is another reason why the highway needs to be widened. The project doesn’t have a concrete timeline yet, but they are hoping to get the ball rolling with more grants in the new year.

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