NKY receives federal funds but road repairs could still take a while

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - Tri-State motorists are screaming enough is enough with the potholes -- especially in Northern Kentucky where many residents tell FOX19 that the damage is wreaking havoc on their cars.

A spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) says the department has heard motorists' cries, and are doing all they can to help, but warn it could take a while for crews to actually start working on those repairs.

"There were a lot of pretty deep potholes on 275," said Ron Shew of Erlanger.

Waitress Amanda Cradduck couldn't agree more.

"It was on Orphanage Road. Right in front of Remke's," said Cradduck.

Drivers say potholes are costing them big bucks.

"Yeah, about $800 in wheels," said Joe Caminiti.

"I don't know if it's due to a pothole, but I have a tire that's going flat," said Edgewood father Lynwood Anthony. "I have to have it fixed or replaced."

"I've driven across the country four times, and I've lived in multiple different states," said Cradduck. "I think Pennsylvania probably has the worst roads, but ours are definitely second."

KYTC Spokesperson Nancy Wood said potholes are a big concern, but right now, damage caused by the Tri-State's recent rain is a bigger issue.

Large cracks, like the one on KY-20, are pitting drivers against Mother Nature.

The bedrock has shifted under the road causing a landslide. The road has been closed for weeks. Wood said crews have started repairing the road, but the continued rain has slowed their progress.

Wood said there are at least 30 more roads in Northern Kentucky just like KY-20. Those repairs are taking priority-- meaning smaller issues, like potholes, have to wait.

"We've had an abundant amount of rain through the months of April and May and it's putting us behind on a lot of our normal projects that we would do in maintenance," said Wood. "Right now, our maintenance crews are having to focus on a lot of the slides that are happening throughout our district."

Wood said it will cost nearly $8.5 million to fix everything, and that's just for Northern Kentucky.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has requested federal funds. Wood said representatives from FEMA surveyed the area a few weeks ago. Recently, FEMA told KYTC authorities that 10 of the 11 counties in our area qualify for federal assistance.

However, money isn't the only issue.

The weather is also causing major problems. KYTC is currently working to rehabilitate four interstates in Northern Kentucky, and some of that work has had to be put on hold.

This includes work on:

  • I-275 WB in Boone County.
  • I-275 WB in Campbell County, from KY 9 to US 25 in Kenton County
  • I-71 SB in Boone and Gallatin counties
  • and I-75/I-71 NB at the Cut in the Hill in Kenton County.

"The rain surely isn't helping our 'Revive the Drive' project," said Wood. "We have the funding to do the repairs for the interstate but now the weather isn't allowing us to get out and do the work that needs to be done."

For more information on current and future construction projects in Northern Kentucky, log on to: http://transportation.ky.gov/revivethedrive/

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