BULLITT CO., Ky. (WHAS11) — When opportunity has knocked, Bullitt County has answered. It's led to a business boom among major economic activity.
Millions of square feet of industrial space and an abundance of distribution center can be found all along I-65 and especially in Shepherdsville.
Amazon's fulfillment center, along with Walmart.com and Jet.com's new distribution space, have brought thousands of jobs to the area. But, that means traffic congestion has also grown.
"I actually get stuck in a lot of this traffic every day myself," Heath Phillips said. Phillips is one of the construction supervisors for the project and he also lives in Bullitt County. "Especially around the winter time once Amazon, UPS and everybody else gets geared up for all the Christmas travel and traffic, it gets pretty congested. It takes me a lot longer to get in and out of the office in the mornings."
Phillips said he moved to Bullitt County for all of the progress and growth, especially with the roadways.
City, county, state and federal leaders also recognized the growth and decided to prioritize infrastructure in Bullitt County. With more jobs in the area, traffic has become a problem.
"It's a great problem to have. There are counties all over the commonwealth that wish they were having the problem of growth, rather than the other way around," Ky. Rep. Brett Guthrie said.
The new interchange will be a traditional diamond design built on I-65 south of Shepherdsville near mile marker 114 between the existing interchanges at KY 245 (Exit 112) and KY 480 (Exit 116). The project includes a new 1.4-mile connector route extending west from I-65 to KY 61 (Preston Highway) and east from the interstate to Ohm Drive and Alpha Way in the Cedar Grove Business Park. This new route will be a three-lane roadway with one travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane.
Gov. Matt Bevin said the infrastructure changes with the I-65 interchange are essential to help people get to and from their jobs. He emphasized, "progress is a good thing. The face of progress looks like this and does create jobs."
The new connection route and interchange will reduce the travel distance between I-65 and the Cedar Grove Business Park from 1.75 miles to 0.7 miles. This commercial development has more than 11,000 full-time employees working in the manufacturing and logistics industries. From Thanksgiving through mid-February, this number increases by 5,000 for the Christmas holiday as well as the return season.
Phillips, who will be working on the project for the two-year duration, said the entire project will mean a lot to the community as it welcomes continued growth.
"It shows a lot of progress. It brings a lot more tax dollars into the community and then the community can start spending that money on better infrastructure and better community support for those of us that do live here," Phillips said.
As part of this project, KY 61 will be closed for several months during construction of the intersection at the new connector route. This road closure will take place during summer months when the Bullitt County Public School system is not in session.
Louisville Paving & Construction was awarded the contract for this project, and construction is scheduled for completion in November 2020.