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Cummins Ferry Road closed Sept. 23-24

The Harrodsburg Herald of Harrodsburg, Kentucky

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Local Resorts Suffer From Poor Infrastructure

Cummins Ferry Road is the latest Mercer County roadway to be closed.

The Kentucky

Transportation Cabinet Department of Highways is closing Kentucky 1988/Cummins Ferry Road from 7:30a.m. to 3 p m Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 23 and 24, between mile markers 1 and 3. The department said the closure is necessary for two pipe replacement projects to be completed.

"Lucky for me I didn't have any campers coming here on those two days," said Gail Markel, owner of Cummins Ferry Resort in Salvisa.

Markel said she didn't know about the road closing until she was contacted by The Harrodsburg Herald on Tuesday afternoon.

"I wish I would have known ahead of time," Markel said.

Fall is turning out to be a down season for many area resorts thanks to closed roadways all over Mercer County. U.S. 68 in the Palisades has been closed or down to one lane for most of the year. Kennedy Mill Bridge, which carries Kentucky 152 across Herrington Lake, has been closed since Sept. 3, the Thursday before Labor Day weekend.

For businesses the cost of road closings can be steep. Paul Barnes, owner of Chimney Rock Marina and Restaurant, said business was down around 20 percent this Labor Day compared to previous years.

Sunset Grill and Marina, on the Garrard County side of the lake, closed on Sept. 10, citing the downturn in business.

This is the best local example of the high economic cost of America's failing infrastructure.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, there are 571 structurally deficient bridges in Kentucky. The commonwealth only replaces 10 bridges a year. The Kennedy Mill Bridge is 91 years old.

In 2010, the ASCE estimated that poorly maintained roadways were costing the nation nearly $130 billion.

In 2040, unless serious investments are made in repairing America's infrastructure, it's expected to cost the national economy some 400,000 jobs.

Markel said she generally doesn't recommend her customers use the alternative route to her campground on McAfee Lane because the road is so narrow. She said campers will have to take it slow until the Cummins Ferry Road project is finished.

In their announcement, the Department of Highways cautioned that all roadwork depends on weather, emergencies and other factors beyond their control.

"We'll make do," Markel said.

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Original Publication Date: September 24, 2015

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