MADISONVILLE, Ky. (July 9, 2021) – In Madisonville today, Gov. Andy Beshear presented a ceremonial check for $2.2 million from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), representing highway safety projects bordering two Hopkins County school campuses.

The funding will allow for the design and construction of turn lanes near James Madison Middle School and Pride Elementary School. The ceremonial check represents $200,000 for design and $2 million for construction of the projects.

“As Governor, but also on a personal note, as a parent, the safety of our children is always on my mind,” Gov. Beshear said. “My administration will always put education first, and that includes making sure students, families, educators and staff are as safe as possible at and near their schools.”

In April, Gov. Beshear announced plans to invest $23 million to improve highway safety near schools, protecting students, educators and families. Gov. Beshear charged KYTC with prioritizing and targeting safety projects near school sites using state funding allocated in the 2020 Highway Plan. Nearly 70 safety improvement projects in 44 counties across the state are included in the award: to see the full list, click here.

“We are excited about these projects and how they will provide safer conditions for our children who are walking and a safer route for our buses entering and exiting school grounds,” Hopkins County Schools Superintendent Amy Smith said. “They will also help with the traffic flow of car riders during arrival and dismissal. Thank you for providing the funding to help Team Hopkins!”

At James Madison Middle School, new left- and right-turn lanes will be constructed from Kentucky Highway 254 into the south entrance of the campus. The addition of turn lanes will alleviate backups and allow through-traffic to flow more smoothly, said school Principal Matt Melton.

“As the largest middle school in the district, we continue to see a rise in the number of students who walk home,” Melton said. “Our first priority is always the safety of our students, and these improvements will certainly help. Thank you, Gov. Beshear and Team Kentucky, for making this possible.”

At Pride Elementary, new turn lanes on Kentucky Highway 1581 will significantly improve afternoon traffic flow into and out of the school property. In addition, to improve pedestrian safety, sidewalks within the turn lane project will be replaced, sidewalk ramps will be upgraded to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and crosswalks will be restriped.

“For years we have battled a traffic congestion problem in our area, and we are excited about a solution,” said Pride Elementary Principal Kristy Saint.

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