Clays Mill project comes full circle
Gas prices averaged a little over a dollar a gallon; Britney Spears’s first album debuted; The Sopranos and the West Wing premiered on TV; and the Best Movie Oscar went to American Beauty way back in 1999, which is when the widening of Clays Mill Road began in Lexington. At long last, the 22-year old project prepares to come full circle as the final and most complex phase of the widening project has begun.
The final phase includes a section of Clays Mill that stretches from Waco Road to Harrodsburg Road, approximately four miles. The road will transform from two lanes to three, with the addition of new curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. Plans for safety improvements like a new stormwater collection system, and bike lanes will be added in both directions. A new center turn lane will reduce vehicle congestion and upgraded traffic signals are planned for Pasadena, Hill N Dale and Rosemont Garden at Lane Allen.
“This project is very important to these neighborhoods,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “It has been a long process, and we appreciate the neighbors, who have been very patient. It’s great to get the final phase under way.”
Both Gorton and former 9th District Councilmember Jennifer Mossotti were members of the Urban County Council in 1999, when neighbors and road planners began meeting to discuss what kind of widening project was best for Clays Mill.
“From the start, the project was led by the neighbors, who weren’t interested in a big four-lane road running through their neighborhoods. After we finish this project, Clays Mill will be a three-lane road, designed to allow traffic to flow, but not designed for high speeds,” Gorton said.
Clays Mill Road runs through the 9th, 10th, and 11th Districts.
“This project included a public involvement effort unprecedented for a City public works project, which resulted in key amenities such as landscaping and bicycle lanes,” said Mossotti. “It has been, and continues to be, a much-needed transportation improvement project for the residents of this area, who routinely travel the route to work, to school, for shopping, and so many other daily activities.”
“Everyone who utilizes this important corridor will benefit from these improvements,” said Amanda Bledsoe, who represents the 10th District. “Whether you’re dropping your kids off at one of the many excellent schools along Clays Mill Road, riding your bike to Southland Drive, or even commuting downtown, the widening project will provide safer travel with less traffic congestion for everyone. Lexington’s traffic issues are not going away any time soon, but with smart projects like this one, we can transform our corridors to be safer and more efficient for all types of transportation.”
Councilmember Jennifer Reynolds, who represents the 11th District, said, “The planning of the Clays Mill widening project has been a collaborative effort that has spanned over several years. I am thrilled the construction of the final phase is beginning, and look forward to the positive changes it will bring to the corridor including safety enhancements.”
Cost of the final phase is projected at $10.7 million and is expected to be completed by November 2022.
This article appears on page 10 of the 2021 annual print edition of Beaumont Guide.
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