A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

John Schickel: Historic times in Boone County, CVG growth, infrastructure upgrades, farewell to RFG

By any measure, these are historic times for infrastructure expansion in Boone County. As Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore recently pointed out, not since the interstate itself was built many years ago have we received this type of infrastructure funding and growth for Boone County.

Sen. Schickel

The state road plan from the 2018 Legislative Session funded over $60 million worth of Boone County road projects under the leadership of House Transportation Budget Committee Chairman, Representative Sal Santoro. For a complete list of projects, go to the Kentucky Department of Transportation website (www.transportation.ky.gov), but some my favorites are:

  • A much-needed left turn lane on KY-237 for school buses to use turning into the Boone County School System Transportation Lot located on that road
  • The completion of four lanes for the middle section of Pleasant Valley Road
  • Reconstructing Northern Kentucky’s busiest intersection at Weaver Road and U.S. 42
  • Reconstructing Frogtown Road at the entrance to Triple Crown
  • Design and construction funds for a new Graves Road interchange
  • Planning and design plans to expand Gunpowder Road from U.S. 42 to Mt. Zion Road. With the completion of this project we will have a four lane highway all the way from Hebron to the south end of the county.

It was also announced that Boone County received a $100 million federal grant to completely rebuild the Richwood Road and Mt. Zion interchange, which was icing on the cake. This will include additional lanes on the interstate and many more small transportation projects that connect to these interchanges.

The interchange will be a state-of-the-art double diamond crossover design, which has been proven to decrease congestion, increase capacity and improve safety. Boone County is a major freight corridor in the United States, and I am thankful to our federal, state and local officials for making this funding happen. A lot of hard work went in to it over many years.

Who would have ever thought just six years ago we would witness the tremendous rebirth of our Northern Kentucky International Airport? Our airport was recently rated one of the fastest-growing airports in the country.

I would like to think that the Kentucky Legislature passing laws to reconfigure the Kenton County Airport Board—which governs CVG—to make it more responsive and efficient may have had something to do with this. Only the airports in San Jose, CA, Austin, TX, and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, had double-digit percentage passenger growth last year like our airport.

Lastly, I want to wish a long-awaited good riddance to reformulated gas. Many years ago, the EPA mandated a special gas formula to control air pollution in our Northern Kentucky counties.

The effectiveness of the program has always been in question, and the air quality has improved enough to do away with the reformulated gas regulation. The reformulated gas formula caused higher prices as well as causing mechanical problems to small engines, according to local mechanics.

As of July 1, it no longer exists in Northern Kentucky after a multi-year effort by numerous individuals, including Boone County’s Steve Harper, Greg Schrand, and State Representative Diane St. Onge. Goodbye and good riddance to reformulated gas.

Senator John Schickel (R-Union) represents the 11th District in Boone County. If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call him toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or send a message at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Messages/S011.aspx/a>.

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