A press conference was held at BCTC’s Newtown campus to talk about the improvements on West Fourth Street as the road opened to two-way traffic Friday, November 22, 2013.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray called the conference, and Transylvania VP for Finance and Business Marc Mathews; BCTC President Dr. Augusta Julian; District 1 Councilmember Chris Ford; and District 2 Councilmember Shevawn Akers spoke about what the improvements mean to their schools and to the neighborhood.
West Fourth Street is poised to experience a renaissance as investments by the city, state, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Transylvania University and R.J. Corman Railroad Group have simplified traffic, increased accessibility to the area and improved the campuses of both schools.
“The investments along this corridor will pave the way for continuing improvements,“ Mayor Jim Gray said.
“The roadway work taking place around the new BCTC campus on Newtown Pike is an example of great cooperation and teamwork between the City of Lexington, the college, and the KY Transportation Cabinet,” said James Ballinger, Chief District Engineer. “The Fourth Street portion looks great and will provide better access and enhance the entryway to north Lexington and Transylvania University.”
The BCTC Newtown Campus opened for classes in August. A new multi-use trail along Newtown Pike and Loudon Avenue has been constructed and will soon link to the Legacy Trail. Work will continue at the former Eastern State Hospital site for the next few years.
“The Newtown Campus is beautiful with its original iron fence and historical main entrance on Fourth Street,” BCTC President Augusta Julian said. “We appreciate the site’s history and are committed to repurposing it for educational services that appropriately celebrate the value of this site in the community.”
Improving accessibility along Fourth Street will strengthen the connection between Transylvania and the BCTC Newton Campus.
“This area will soon become home to a renewed level of energy and vitality. The new two-way traffic pattern will increase mobility in an area once characterized as remote, isolated and off the beaten path,” First District Councilmember Chris Ford said. “It’s a great infrastructure win for northwest Lexington.”
The city has installed new signals at Jefferson Street with upgraded technology to accommodate the new traffic plan. The city also resurfaced the street to accommodate revised striping to add bike lanes.
“We appreciate this opportunity to collaborate with the various stakeholders along this corridor,” said Bob Bayert, city design and construction engineer.
To see media coverage of the West Fourth Street improvements, check out: