The East Brannon Road Extension will open for traffic Friday afternoon — eight months ahead of schedule, but more than a decade in the making.
The extension connects U.S. 27 at the Brannon Crossing Shopping Center in Jessamine County to Tates Creek Road in Fayette County. Originally scheduled to be completed in June 2019, the extension includes a new two-lane road that is 2.2 miles in length with bicycle lanes.
Work began in February 2017 on the project, which had a price tag of $11.2 million. It was approved by former Gov. Steve Beshear before he left office in December 2015 but delayed when Gov. Matt Bevin took office when he said the state had not acquired all of the land necessary to begin construction.
The delay forced taxpayers to pay the contractor a $625,000 penalty. Bevin blamed the delay on the Beshear administration, stating it rushed to bid the project.
The idea was first proposed in 2013 by Jim Hughes, a developer who brought Brannon Crossing Shopping Center to Jessamine County.
While the extension provides the convenience of traveling to and from Tates Creek and Brannon Crossing, it’s not without a little bit of skepticism. The new portion of the roadway will travel near subdivisions, which would create more traffic for the residents.
“I like the convenience of being able to go to Brannon Crossing, but I do not like the traffic issues,” Peter Roper, a resident of Cumberland Hill subdivision, said in 2017. “I feel the traffic issues are going to be a headache.”
Ray Depa, president of the Woodfield home owners association, also noted concern about additional traffic last year.
The Transportation Cabinet anticipates an increase of 90 vehicles in the peak hourly volume north of the intersection of Tates Creek Road and East Brannon, and an increase of 70 vehicles in the peak hourly volume south of that intersection.
“The new connection will enhance the overall safety and mobility for the network of roads and subdivisions while offering alternative methods of pedestrian and bicycle travel,” said Ryan Watts, a spokesman for the state Transportation Cabinet, in 2