Ten-foot wide shared-use path coming soon to Jessamine County

Published 2:32 pm Monday, August 28, 2023

Correction: The City and County governments are co-funders on this project

Since before 2016, the city of Nicholasville and the Jessamine County Fiscal Court has been trying to plan ways to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety for all residents, specifically students on their way to East and West Jessamine high schools. Finally, the City Commission heard an update on the bike/pedestrian path in its workshop meeting at the beginning of August.

“You can go out to East Jessamine High School, and with school getting ready to start, there’s kids that walk every day. They’re walking to East High and just walking on the edge of the road,” said joint planning and zoning director Tim Cross.

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The city’s solution to this problem will include the construction of a ten-foot-wide pedestrian and bike pathway on one side of the road. Ultimately, this ten-foot-wide shared-use path will stretch from U.S. 68 to the newly constructed east bypass (KY 2827).

Currently, the city has the funding to advance to phases of the project that focus on East and Wes Jessamine high schools. The city chose these areas for the first phases of the project because their scores from a city survey indicated the highest need for better pedestrian access.

“The East High section scored the highest and will be constructed from the high school to Central Avenue. In addition to the shared-use path, the project will construct a short portion of the roadway to align with the entrance to Eastgate Subdivision. This will allow for the exit of East High to be relocated so we do not create an offset intersection. The West High section scored the next highest, and it will be built from Cook Lane to Abbie Run, essentially connecting West High, West Middle, and Rosenwald Dunbar,” Cross said.

In addition to the pathway, a new traffic signal will be installed to control the traffic at the exit of West Jessamine and Jessamine Station Road. As part of that, a new left turn will be constructed on KY 29 and Jessamine Station. The Jessamine Station intersection will be widened in the process.

“Our ultimate goal is to create amenities,” Cross said.

There are other gaps to fill in other areas of the county.

“There’s still a gap in Wilmore,” Cross said. “The Veterans Center has a paved path from Wilmore to the veterans center. But from the veterans center on out, there’s no path. So Wilmore is working on a path to fill that gap.”

According to city officials, the goal is to start construction on this city project by winter or early spring. These projects will be advancing at the same time. Cross said the city plans on bidding out the projects to find a contractor to complete the construction of both sections of the pathways together.