FRANKFORT — The House has approved a two-year road plan that includes money for the extension of Newtown Pike and the widening of Leestown Road in Lexington.
The $3.5 billion plan also includes authorization for two new Louisville bridges and includes planning money for a bridge in Northern Kentucky.
The House on Friday approved a series of bills relating to the state's road plan. The measures now go to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it will make changes to the plan. A committee will be appointed to work out the differences.
Rep. Sannie Overly, chairwoman of the House subcommittee on transportation, told the House on Friday that the road plan and road operating budget included $782 million that will go to local governments.
The plan also includes $100 million in bonds for the Louisville bridges. That's on top of more than $230 million in federal bonds issued in 2010.
House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, questioned why the House was not told whether some areas of the transportation operating budget had increased or decreased from previous budgets.
Overly said more money would go back to local governments, but she could not specify the percentage increase. Hoover had an opportunity to ask those questions before Friday's vote, Overly said.
Hoover said it's "mind-boggling" that the information was not provided to the House.
"I think these are important questions," he said.
The House ultimately voted 88-4 to approve HB 267, the two-year road plan.
For Fayette County, the plan includes $1.5 million to improve the northeastern entrance to Bluegrass Army Depot at Avon for the expansion of Lockheed Martin, said Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington.
"That's important because it means more jobs," she said.
The plan includes $33 million for the completion of the Newtown Pike extension, $38 million to widen New Circle Road from Georgetown Road to Boardwalk Avenue and $15 million in the current fiscal year to reconstruct the Versailles Road interchange on New Circle Road. About $19 million will go toward widening Leestown Road between New Circle and Masterson Station Park.
Geoff Reed, senior adviser to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, said the city was pleased with the House's road plan. "Considering the state's financial situation, we are extremely pleased and grateful to what the House has done for us," Reed said.