I-471 / KY 8
Interchange Justification Project

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Click here to view Alternates 1, 2b and 5d under consideration for design.

UPDATE Click here to view Project Newsletter No. 6, July 2011.

Click here to view Environmental Baseline Report developed for the Project.

The I-471/KY 8 Interchange Justification Project is being undertaken by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to examine Justifications to the interchange to reduce traffic delays on southbound I-471 at the KY 8 exit ramps and improve safety for southbound and exiting traffic.

Based on the nature of the Project, a purpose and need statement for the Project is prepared to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and to guide preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA).  The EA evaluates all major federal projects affecting the human and natural environments.  The purpose and need statement identifies the problems to be addressed and presents objectives for solutions.  The purpose and need statement is the beginning point for assessment and provides the foundation for successful evaluation and comparison of alternative designs.

The Purpose and Need for the project is to improve safety and reduce traffic delay at the I-471 / KY 8 Interchange in Kentucky by correcting deficiencies that cause and contribute to KY 8 exit queues that occur in the southbound I-471 lanes on the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge over the Ohio River.  Also, to improve capacity and quality of travel at interchange ramp termini intersections and adjacent outfall streets thereby enhancing accessibility to existing commercial and residential districts and improving economic development opportunities, taking into consideration the planned development of the riverfront district between the Licking River in Newport and Berry Street in Bellevue.  In addition, the transportation infrastructure improvements must be sensitive to the integrity of cultural historic districts and other environmental areas of concern.

The Scope of the Project is to conduct preliminary engineering studies to identify appropriate typical sections, line and grade, cost estimates, and to prepare the Environmental Assessment to comply with federal regulations governing federally-funded transportation projects. 

Typical sections are cross section plans showing the roadway, the number of lanes, lane and median widths, and roadsides including shoulders, curbs, or sidewalks.

Line and grade plans show the exact location of the roadway and the curves and slopes that must be planned for in the alignment.

An environmental assessment is required to be developed for federally-funded Projects to assess the potential effects of the typical sections and line and grade on the human and natural environments present in the Project area.  Elements of the Assessment include examinations of:

  • Natural aquatic and terrestrial habitat
  • Social and economic characteristics of the Project area
  • Noise levels
  • Air quality
  • Hazardous materials and underground storage tanks
  • Archaeology
  • Cultural resources (historic elements).

The Environmental Assessment is examined by the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration to make a final decision on the Project alternative recommended for implementation and to establish a location for the Project.  After the Environmental Assessment is approved, impacts to the project area and corresponding mitigation measures are summarized by a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). After reaching this milestone federal funds can be released for Project implementation.

Project goals are:

  • Prepare an Interchange Justification Study to evaluate traffic, geometrics, and land use issues associated with providing a reconstructed interchange to the Interstate Highway System.  The Report is to be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for approval of modified access to I-471 at KY 8.
  • Conduct Phase I preliminary engineering studies to identify appropriate designs, alignments, and cost estimates for I-471/KY 8 interchange Justifications
  • Develop the appropriate environmental document for approval.  See explanation of the Environmental Assessment above.

Public input will be solicited at Public Involvement Meetings. Conceptual alternative designs will be developed. These designs will be compared and evaluated to reduce their number under consideration from eight to four to two and finally to a Preferred Alternative. The environmental process will investigate impacts and mitigation potential for the Alternatives after which a Public Hearing will be held. From all this, the goal is to reach consensus between the community and the design agency on what is the best solution to the problem.