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PADUCAH — The Paducah City Commission took up a number of contract modifications for road projects with BFW Engineering and Testing during its meeting Tuesday night.

Perhaps the most significant modification will be adding almost $75,000 to the Buckner Lane Bridge replacement project.

Leaders on the project say this added money will be a big step in fixing the storm drain problem in this area.

"What we were going to do is put the bridge in and tie it in as quickly as possible. But that didn't solve the drainage problem. That solved a part of the drainage problem, but we didn't have enough money to go beyond that," City Engineer Rick Murphy said. "But mayor, through your guidance, and this commission's decision to move forward with the ARPA money and taking $4 million, we're taking a piece of that money and we're actually addressing this entire drainage problem in this area."

The funding Murphy referred to is American Rescue Plan Act funding. The city is using some of the $4 million it received from that act for stormwater projects. 

The commission introduced an ordinance to expand that project, as well as ordinances to expand the scope of improvement projects on South 24th and 25th streets.

The 24th Street project expansion will include costs to design a 4-acre stormwater detention basin next to the new South 24th Street bridge over Cross Creek. The city says that project will also be funded using a portion of the ARPA funding marked for stormwater mitigation. The aim is to reduce flooding issues in the area.

The city says the South 24th Street project will improve the road from 25th Street to South 28th Street, and the South 25th Street project redesigns the roadway from Jackson Street to Alabama Street. The 25th Street project is funded in part by a $650,000 state grant. 

Commissioners also introduced an ordinance to expand the scope of its contract with BFW Engineering and Testing to pay for additional environmental assessment for the Paducah Riverfront Infrastructure Improvement Project, for which the city received a $10.4 million federal BUILD grant in 2019. The city must complete the environmental assessment to fulfill National Environmental Protection Act requirements associated with the funding. 

In a news release, the city says the expanded scope of the assessments is needed to meet requirements of an "unforeseen programmatic agreement" that was determined after consulting with the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office, the U.S. Maritime Administration and other entities. Once the agreement is signed, the city says the environmental assessment can be submitted and reviewed by the Maritime Administration. The city hopes to start the design phase early in 2022, and that construction can begin later that year.

The commission also introduced an ordinance for a contract with Wilkins Construction to repair and mitigate flood damage at the riverfront park, next to the boat dock. The city says the project includes expanding the stone revetment, adding rip-rap and adding erosion control blocks by the sidewalks. The project is being paid for with nearly $400,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding of nearly $400,000 for the project, nearly $64,000 being provided by the state and a little more than $69,000 from the city.