Thursday March 26, 2009
Unique agreement with Ky. Transportation Cabinet reimburses city for work
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Louisville Metro Government have signed a unique agreement under which the Louisville Metro Department of Public Works will handle roadway and traffic signal maintenance on nearly all state-owned routes in Kentucky’s most populous county.
Beginning April 1, Louisville Public Works crews will be responsible for all road maintenance issues, such as snow removal and pothole repair, as well as maintaining approximately 350 traffic signals on state routes. The agreement will enable the state Department of Highways’ maintenance division to concentrate almost exclusively, and provide a higher level of service, on interstate routes in Jefferson County. It also will provide clarity for Louisville residents who often have not known which department to contact about roadway or signal issues.
Transportation Secretary Joe Prather said the agreement was possible because of an excellent working relationship and tradition of cooperation between the Department of Highways and Louisville’s Department of Public Works.
“This agreement will benefit our cabinet, Louisville Metro and all the citizens of Louisville,” Prather said. “It will make for less overlap and greater efficiency, which is all the more important in these economic times.”
“We’ve got the tools and we’ve got the trucks,” said Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. “It just makes good sense for the state, for the city and for the taxpayers to use the resources we already have. We’re looking forward to getting to work.”
Louisville Metro Public Works will hire about 50 employees to handle the increased workload.
Louisville crews were already maintaining traffic signals on state routes inside the Watterson Expressway – the old Louisville urban services district. The agreement
extends the city’s responsibilities to roadway, roadside, drainage and traffic signal operations within the entire Louisville Metro boundary. Interstate routes will remain in the state’s care.
The agreement calls for Louisville Metro Government to provide management, supervision, inspection, labor, equipment and some materials. It also will take over such duties as ice and snow removal, pothole patching, mowing, spraying for weed control, litter removal and tree and brush trimming.
The cabinet will provide all traffic signals and systems, including flashing beacons and school signals. The cabinet also will provide engineering expertise and spot inspection as needed.