For at least 16 years Princeton city leaders have been pushing for a road that routes industrial traffic out of their historic district.
Princeton's Mayor Danny Beavers said traffic from trucks passing through disrupts local business. A design for the Princeton Connector was finished and funded this year. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will now work on getting land from about 18 property owners that's along the route before construction starts in 2018.
The project would re-route industrial traffic to connect between Hopkinsville Road and Kentucky 293 North.
Mayor Beavers said re-routing industrial traffic can help protect historic buildings along Main Street.
“We don't think it's going to hurt our downtown businesses at all because the truck traffic doesn't stop here to eat lunch, and they don't purchase diesel fuel in this area. So, I don't think that we're losing anything,” Beavers said.
Newsom's Old Mill Store Owner, Nancy Newsom Mahaffey tries not to pay too much attention to the trucks.
“I don't think it's strange, I guess because I've been here for so long,” Mahaffey said.
She said she does notice the noise messes with the town's historic vibe - a main force in their effort to draw tourists.
“People tend to migrate towards history these days and a story, and this end of town definitely has a story to go with it,” Mahaffey said.
Mahaffey said industrial traffic disrupts the quiet atmosphere and can be damaging to its old buildings.
“I think we do have to be more careful, particularly about our old buildings and exactly what we are doing you know to protect them and that includes any vibrational sound,” Mahaffey said.
Mayor Beavers was one of the first ones to push for an alternate route.
“We think with the decrease in truck traffic, we're just sure that it will help our buildings be preserved, in this day and time is a tough thing to do,” Beavers said.
He said trucks will also have shorter travel time.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to acquire all the land they need by 2016. KTC plans to begin bidding for the project in 2017 and start construction by 2018.
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