Aaron Dockery was presenting the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s recommendations for Pulaski County’s share of 2017-2018 Rural Secondary Road Program funding when Kelley asked if the stretch crossing White Oak Creek —  well known for serious accidents — could be addressed.

“The county has been requesting it for years…,” Judge Kelley said. “If we can’t get it straightened, can we at least get some high-friction surfacing in the short term?”

 Dockery explained that the funding used can be complicated depending on the type of project. Some are funded completely with federal monies while others — such as the Highway Safety Improvement Program that includes high-friction surfacing — are dual projects. County Treasurer Joan Isaacs noted that Rural Secondary is only for resurfacing.

“I can tell you that it’s most definitely on the state’s radar…,” Dockery said of Ky. 196. “But with these RS funds, it would be a very large-scale project and so, we would be neglecting other areas in order to do one major project.”

In regard to high-friction surface, Dockery added that the process is still experimental and can be costly.

“We’re trying to find a solution that can be both economical and not cause traffic problems as far as while we’re working on it,” Dockery said.

Though he couldn’t give the court definitive answers of when and how the project will be done, Dockery suggested a meeting with District 8’s Chief District Engineer Tammy Wilson and Project and Procurement Branch Manager Bill Chaney.

“Every final decision is made in Frankfort,” he noted, adding that crash data is a factor.

Judge Kelley asked Public Safety Director Stacy Halcomb to pull any crash information available for that area. “If we can find some supporting documentation for this because it’s a real problem,” he said.

Dockery speculated that more federal funding could be coming with the new Trump administration but emphasized that there’s no guarantee at this time.

“I think the high friction would help,” Magistrate Jason Turpen, who represents District 1, said. “It might not completely fix it but I think it would help.”

Dockery again noted that the final decision would come from Frankfort rather than district officials but “we are well aware of [Ky.] 196 and the issue out there and the fact that the county really, really wants that job done.”

In getting back to the Rural Secondary recommendations, the county’s allotment encompasses $1,047,500 for routine maintenance of the approximate 221 existing miles as well as $532,017 in flex funds. KYTC recommended the remaining $1,081,484 be used for the following improvements: apply surface treatment to Estesburg Road (Ky. 1721) from Ky. 1247 east to the end of state maintenance; resurface Pine Hill Road (Ky. 1317) from Ky. 80 north to Ky. 39; resurface Ky. 1675 in Stab from Ky. 1003 north to Sandy Gap Road; and various asphalt patching on Rush Branch Road (Ky. 769) from the end of state maintenance north to Ky. 914.

 The court unanimously approved the recommendations on a motion from Magistrate Glenn Maxey and second from Magistrate Mike Strunk.