Utility work is underway in Benton, Kentucky, to make way for a $4.5 million project to widen a busy road. Some businesses are ready for change in the area, while others say the project is a waste of tax payer dollars.
Some Benton businesses hope this utility work is making way for a brighter future. Just ask Troy McCulley, manager at McCulley Automotive.
"I think it will help modernize the city, getting additional lanes, curbs, gutters and sidewalks," McCulley said.
It's a project that's been in the works for years to improve traffic flow on 5th Street by widening the street from three to five lanes and adding sidewalks.
"We see a lot of people walking along this road, and it's dangerous right now," said McCulley.
Kevin Kinsey, co-owner of Parkway Chrysler — another car dealership right down the street — says he's never had a problem with the road.
Kinsey says once this project begins, it's going to lose thousands of square feet of property.
"To do all the construction here and spend millions and millions of dollars is a waste of tax payer money," Kinsey said.
"Nobody's going to know what entrance to come in. Just like there, you can't get into any entrances if you want to go into a business up there today," Kinsey said.
Utility crews have started making their way down the street. while some businesses expect the worst, all are hoping for the best.
"Nobody knows what the future holds," Kinsey said
This utility work is making way for the actual road construction.
Road construction will end when utility work is finished. A spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said the goal is to have road construction started by next summer. He also said the utility work will be the most inconvenient part of the project for businesses.
The utility work is taking place on a 0.7 mile stretch of 5th Street from the Purchase Parkway intersection to Main Street.
100 Television Lane
Paducah, KY 42003