Accident prone KY 56 to receive major upgrade - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Accident prone KY 56 to receive major upgrade

UNION CO., KY (WFIE) -

A Tri-State highway that is prone to accidents is getting a major upgrade.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has announced an $11.5 million project to widen Kentucky 56 in Union County. The upgrades will also allow more commercial vehicles to travel the roadway from Illinois to Kentucky.

Many who travel that road every day have been wanting this for a long time. Highway 56 is very narrow and curvy, which has played a role in several accidents and close calls.

But on Tuesday, Governor Beshear says that will soon change. He says Highway 56 is being expanded all the way to the Shawneetown Bridge.

The first part of the project starts in downtown Morganfield. The road will be widened to include two 12-foot lanes with paved 10-foot shoulders.

That, he says, will make the road safer and also means larger commercial vehicles can travel the road.

"This is a sorely needed project and I know it very well because of the movement of trucks from Illinois to here and back again," Beshear says.

Right now, trucks coming over the bridge that weigh over 60,000 pounds have to travel nearly 30 miles out of their way to reach Morganfield.

"It's going to be a big benefit especially to the farmers. They'll be able to go on through on the road and on a safe road. Meeting cars you won't be crowding each other off the road and everything like that. It's going to be a big benefit," says Chuck Voss, a farmer.

Once the upgrades are made, Kentucky 56 will be added to the National Truck Network, a list of approved highways for commercial truck drivers.

Construction on the project is set to be completed by September of next year.

Copyright 2014 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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