HMB is the lead engineering firm and the environmental consultant providing environmental studies for an approximate 6-mile portion of proposed new alignment for KY 30 in Owsley County. This project is a priority section of KY 30 located between Travellers Rest and KY 11 near Levi. It is one of six projects that are a regional effort to provide improved linkage between I-75 and the Mountain Parkway to residents along KY 30 between Jackson County and Owsley County.
Owsley County is an isolated county with one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. The project’s most challenging issues include developing viable build alternatives with minimal impacts to residents, disproportional impacts to low-income populations, and avoidance of historic structures. HMB environmental experts performed field studies and conducted research to analyze and compare potential impacts, and to provide mitigation measures for six build alternatives.
These efforts led to identification of a potentially eligible structure along the Preferred Alternative. A shift in the alignment of the Preferred Alternative succeeded in avoiding impacts to the site. HMB staff identified and avoided residential areas throughout the project corridors resulting in 21 or fewer relocations on Build Alternatives, which vary in length from 5.2 to 7.0 miles. Through continuous communication between HMB and KYTC District 10 and Central Office staff, a Preferred Alternative was identified and included in the Environmental Assessment (EA), which is currently in review.
HMB is also the team member with primary responsibility for coordinating the project’s public involvement aspects. The project team held a well-attended Public Meeting in November 2010, and a Public Hearing will be conducted upon approval of the final environmental document, a Finding of No Significant Impacts (FONSI).