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Roads to close Monday for work

Several streets in the west end of downtown Lexington will close on Monday morning as work continues on the 1.5 mile Newtown Pike extension between West Main Street and Versailles Road.

These closures were announced by the Kentucky Highway Department:

■ Cox Street at West Main Street will close permanently. The street will open Sept. 1 under the name Newtown Pike and will connect with the new bridge being built at the west end of the Rupp Arena parking lot.

■ Pine Street at the Manchester Street intersection will close for the construction of sanitary sewers. Pine Street will reopen on March 29.

■ Manchester Street between Cox and Pine streets will be closed for 70 days so utility lines can be buried and the existing road raised to meet the new road. Manchester is scheduled to reopen May 31.

The Newtown Pike Extension, estimated by state highway officials to cost about $90 million, will extend from West Main Street at Newtown Pike to South Limestone Street at Scott Street when completed.

Work on the segment between Main and Versailles Road is on schedule to be finished in time for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, said Natasha Lacy, spokeswoman for the department of highways' district office in Lexington.

The design for the bridge is to replicate a suspension bridge. The concrete sides will be textured, Lacy said, "to make it more aesthetically pleasing."

There are four locations at either end of the bridge that would be appropriate for pieces of sculpture. Jim Clark, president and CEO of LexArts, said his organization will work with the city to develop a plan for the size and placement of the art work.

Clark said it probably will entail some fundraising.

"At this point it is doubtful we could get something done before the games, unless it's something temporary," he said.

Under the bridge are areas where murals or mosaic art work could go. Clark said installing those murals likely will hinge on completion of the Town Branch Trail.