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Input sought on Lanesville connector

A public meeting to discuss the environmental assessment report on the Lanesville Connector Road will be held Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lanesville Junior-Senior High School cafeteria.
Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel said the meeting is also to give the public a chance to voice their comments and concerns over the project.
‘We welcome anyone who has concerns to come and participate in the public meeting,’ Russel said yesterday.
The Lanesville Connector Road is a project that will connect the Lanesville Interstate 64 interchange with S.R. 64 just west of Georgetown.
‘One of the reasons we’re looking at the project is to spur some economic development at that interchange,’ Russel said.
Russel said he hopes after the project is completed, the area will be home to more businesses and provide more jobs for people in the area.
Currently, five routes are under consideration by the county. The five alternates all span northward from the Lanesville interchange. Currently, portions of the Lanesville Connector Road (Old Lanesville Road), are under construction.
Russel said a portion of the road, spanning a half mile north of Interstate 64, is being expanded to include two lanes on each side and a turning lane. The construction stops just south of Georges Hill Road.
To proceed further with the project, an environmental assessment had to be completed on each of the five alternates.
Russel said alternates five, one and two were the least favored alternates in the study.
Alternate five would have the worst environmental impact due to a lot of stream crossings, rough topography and the required number of rights of way.
Russel said alternates one and two were the only alternates that required homes to be relocated.
Alternate four was the most favored and had the minimal environmental impact and would provide the best route in terms of transportation, according to the assessment.
The alternates begin with alternate one which connects with S.R. 64 just west of Georgetown. The alternates continue to connect with S.R. 64, in order, just west of Georgetown with alternate five being the farthest from Georgetown.
The design phase of the project, which includes the environmental assessment, began in 2004. American Consulting was contracted to do the preliminary design and environmental assessment. Russel said he is not certain who will do the actual construction.
Russel said after the alternate is chosen by the county, it must still be approved at the federal level since they are providing a portion of the funding. Harrison County will provide the rest.
The Federal Highway Administration has already provided $3.3 million in funding for construction. The environmental assessment estimates that alternate four will roughly cost $19 million, although Russel said the county is looking at ways to lower costs.