September 23, 2016

On Monday, the funeral service was held for Mr. Frank Hamilton, Jr. Mr. Hamilton was a KBT Board member who served as Chair of our organization in 1993. He dedicated many years to KBT, serving on our Board since the organization was formed in the late 1970's. Mr. Hamilton also gave his time to other trade associations, serving as Chair of the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors, Chair of the Kentucky Crushed Stone Association, and President of the Plantmix Asphalt Industries of Kentucky.

Mr. Hamilton worked - and he worked hard - for many years, building the infrastructure that nearly every Kentuckian depends on each and every day.

He didn't do all that work alone - his family business employed hundreds of Kentuckians over the years. From engineers to administrative staff to truck drivers - there was an opportunity for all skill levels - in a part of the state that was more rural than it is today.

But work isn't all he did. 

Mr. Hamilton was heavily involved in his community. He donated his time to civic groups including the Hope Center, Bluegrass Tomorrow, and the Kentucky Historical Society as well as business groups like the Georgetown-Scott County Chamber of Commerce. He donated all this time to help make his community better.

He loved his family and his friends - and there was certainly proof of that on Monday.

While we mourn the loss of Mr. Hamilton, we at KBT can take comfort in the fact that so many of our members exhibit these same qualities.  In every community in Kentucky, there is a family business that operates the airport, runs the railroad, or builds the roads.

These family businesses, just like Nally & Gibson Georgetown, employ several people in the community while they provide much needed services. Then - these family members and their employees - volunteer in the community. They work with local charities, organize and participate in local events, and serve on the boards of their local business groups.

These small family businesses didn't just build Kentucky's communities and leave - they stayed in Kentucky's communities and made them better.

For all that, I'd like to thank Mr. Hamilton - and all the other small family businesses that are KBT members - for giving so much to make our entire Commonwealth better.

KBT's Mission Statement
Kentuckians for Better Transportation educates and advocates for all modes of transportation to promote a safe, sustainable transportation network that brings economic growth and improved quality of life to all Kentucky Communities.
39th Kentucky Transportation Conference
Early Bird Registration is Now Open!

January 18-20, 2017
Registration rates begin at $245.00
How Northern Kentucky is effectively using public transit to boost economic development

In a simpler time, public transportation connected communities by moving residents from Point A to Point B quickly and cheaply.

In today's fast-paced world, public transit - like most government-funded services - is now expected to play a major role in economic development efforts. Suburban employers are trying to attract and retain talent by making jobs more accessible via targeted bus service, while urban centers are adding streetcars and bikes to attract younger residents and the apartments, restaurants and stores that follow them.

All the while, people across Greater Cincinnati (and the country) continue to drive their cars - often alone - and clog the highways and byways, creating more and more traffic delays, air pollution and frustration.
Back in 2013, the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) developed the  Transit Network Study to look at NKY's public transportation system through the prism of existing and future travel patterns, population density and employment centers. The resulting plan pushed short-term service changes and a long-term transit vision.

With a number of changes now implemented and others on the way, TANK General Manager Andrew Aiello is optimistic that the agency has helped position Northern Kentucky for growth and success.

"Job and population centers move all the time, so it can be difficult to keep up with the changes," he says. "I think we're very responsive to the community's needs, though of course we still have a long way to go."

Meanwhile, hoping to strike while the streetcar iron is hot, a group of Newport re sidents is looking to bring a spur of the Cincinnati Streetcar across the river as one more transit tool to drive economic development.

'I'm proud that we're so responsive'

The Network Study Plan has tried to simplify the vision behind TANK's complex system timetable and planning process by focusing on a few core goals: Service should operate at regular intervals, and routes should be symmetrical, operate along a direct path and serve well-defined markets.

As a result, Aiello says most of TANK's attention has been trained on high-capacity traffic corridors linking work and residential centers. More here.
Air airways

Blue Grass Airport is planning nearly $35 million in updates including additional hangars for private planes, a new baggage system and additional parking.

The regional airport based in Lexington needs to make the updates to remain competitive and better serve a growing number of passengers, said Eric J. Frankl, the executive director of the airport.

"We had 637,000 departures last year," Frankl said. "That's a new record."
The construction will take two to three years to complete, he said.

Much of the money, nearly $20 million, will go toward a new rental car maintenance garage that will serve the four rental car companies on the airport's grounds. The current maintenance building is outdated.

A new baggage belt system - which moves luggage from behind ticket counters to the aircraft and from the aircraft to baggage pick-up - also will be part of the upgrade.
Passengers don't see the belt system, but it's a key part of the airport's operations. And it's more than 18 years old.  More here.
Secretary Greg Thomas announces the following Cabinet appointments:

Rick Durham - Director, Division of Equipment
Rick began his career with the Transportation Cabinet District 5 Maintenance Operations in 1991 and has been with the Division of Equipment since 1994. 
While serving in the division, he has worked in the warehouse; written specifications for the purchase of new equipment; and served as administrative branch manager over procurement, receiving and fabrication prior to his promotion.
With his extensive experience with the Department of Highways heavy equipment operations, Durham is a recognized professional equipment fleet manager having served 22 in the procurement, repair and surplus management of a medium and heavy equipment fleet.
Durham is reputable for developing, implementing, and communicating creative and strategic procurement measures, policies and procedures. Rick has assisted and will continue to assist divisions and districts with their equipment needs.
Rick and his wife, Sheila, live in Lawrenceburg with their four children, Nathan, Whitney, Natalie and Maribeth.  
Wade Clements - Chief District Engineer, District 2 Madisonville
Prior to being named chief district engineer, Clements served as a permit supervisor and worked seven years as a branch manager for Project Preservation and Delivery branch for the 11-county district.  Clements also served as an operations and maintenance engineer.
Clements left the Transportation Cabinet in 2011 to serve with the U.S. Navy Civil Engineering Corps, including a 1-year tour of active duty in West Africa in 2015.  He continues to serve as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserves.  He also spent a year at the University of North Florida conducting roadway pavement research for the Florida Department of Transportation in Gainesville.
Clements is a 1995 graduate of the University of Kentucky civil engineering school and joined the Cabinet in January of 1996. 
Clements, his wife, Crystal and two daughters live in Hanson.
Joe Plunk- Chief District Engineer, District 3 Bowling Green
Prior to being named chief district engineer, Plunk was the Engineering Branch Manager for Project Development in the KYTC District 3 office. Plunk also worked in the design office in KYTC District 2 office in Madisonville for nine years before moving to District 3 in 2008.
Plunk is a University of Kentucky Civil Engineering Graduate and a Muhlenberg County native.
Paul Sanders- Chief District Engineer, District 4 Elizabethtown
Sanders is a 25-year career employee with the Transportation Cabinet, working in various areas including construction and operations. 
Sanders began his career in 1991 working out of the Campbellsville section office and moving to the Elizabethtown section office in 1993, and most recently serving as branch manager of Project Delivery and Preservation. 
Sanders holds a Bachelor's degree in Science and Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky. 
He lives in Vine Grove with his wife, Angela and two sons, Darren and Nicholas.
Tamra Wilson- Chief District Engineer, District 8 Somerset
Tammy Wilson began her career with the Transportation Cabinet in 1987 as a Scholarship Student.   After completing her Bachelors of Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky, Tammy completed her EIT rotation spending one year in Central Office and then began her career in District 8 where she worked 2 years in the Lincoln County Resident Engineer's Office.  
Tammy served as the District 8 Traffic Engineer from 1993 to 2007.  From 2007-2014, Tammy served as the Branch Manager for Traffic and Permits and Engineering Support supervising the Traffic, Permits, Bridge, Agronomy and Equipment Sections.   Tammy retired from cabinet in July 2014 and returned to work in July 2015 to manage the Kentucky Wired permit for the Transportation Cabinet.
Wilson graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Engineering with a Bachelor's Degree in 1991 and Master's Degree in 1996.
Tammy lives in Science Hill, Kentucky with her husband Jeff and daughter Kaylee. 
Please welcome them to their new assignments and give them your full support.
Air airways

WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday awarded a $3,389,437 grant to the Ashland-Boyd County Airport Board in Worthington.
The Airport Improvement Program, or AIP, funds will be used to construct a new taxiway at the Ashland Regional Airport.

"It is great news not just for Ashland, but for the whole region," said U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, the lone congressman from Kentucky on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. "The new taxiway will modernize the airport and allow increased traffic."

Airport board chairman David Mansfield said the board had purchased nearby property and sought the funds to relocate the airport taxiway. After eight years of working to secure the funds, board members will officially sign an acceptance letter for the award on Thursday.

The project will allow the airport to comply with Federal Aviation Administration safety requirements, Mansfield said. Taxiways connect runways with aprons, hangars and terminals.
Focus can now shift on expanding the airport further to add new terminals and other facilities, Mansfield said.

"This airport is vital for economic development. These companies that want to locate in our area, one of the things they need is an airport that they can come into with ease," said Mansfield. "We are the airport for northeastern Kentucky."

The 63-year-old airport serves general and private aviation. It's also a frequent landing spot for business executives and elected officials, from the state to national level. President Bill Clinton previously used the airport during a campaign stop in Ashland.

The federal airport grant program provides funding to develop public-use airports included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, which is a list of airports crucial to public transportation, civil aviation, national defense and the U.S. Postal Service.

The London/Corbin Airport has been awarded a $764,040 grant to fund the construction of a new hanger.  More here.   
Paducah Riverport receives award

Congratulations to The Paducah-McCracken Riverport!

From Paducah Sun:

The Paducah-McCracken County Riverport's efforts to enhance economic development in the region received some national recognition (last) Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Riverport officials, who were among the participants in the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce's annual "D.C. FIy-In," were presented with the America's Marine Leadership Award by Lauren Brand, associate administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration, for their "leadership role in the designation and advancement" of the riverport's Marine Highway M-65 container-on-barge project.
America's Marine Highway Program is led by the DOT to expand the use of the Radon's navigable waterways to relieve landside congestion, reduce air emissions,and generate other public benefits by increasing the efficiency of the surface transportation system.  More here

National Car Seat Check Saturday: September 24, 2016

Click on the photo below to be directed to the website to find an Inspection Station close to you!

Short Line Safety Institute awarded $1.9 million grant for safety efforts

The  Federal Railroad Administration  (FRA) has awarded a $1.9 million grant to the  Short Line Safety Institute  (SLSI) for its efforts to improve rail safety, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) announced earlier this month. 

The funding was provided through the federal Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act to help short lines assess and improve their safety and operations programs, according to the senators' press release.

"I worked to create the Short Line Safety Institute to improve safety training and culture at short-line railroads and help prevent the occurrence of rail disasters, such as the Lac Megantic tragedy in 2013," said Collins. "This funding will allow these railroads, many of which are small, family-owned businesses, to increase operational safety and protect workers as well as those who live and work near railroad tracks."

The SLSI was developed by the  American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association  with the FRA, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and University of Connecticut.

About 550 short-line railroad companies operate over 50,000 miles of track, which represents about 40 percent of the national railroad network. Many short lines are small businesses that lack the resources to implement the kind of "robust" safety programs found at large railroads, the senators noted.  More here.
2017 Annual Kentucky Transportation Conference 
Sponsors to Date:
Platinum Sponsors




Trinity Highway Products
Thelen Associates, 
A Division of  Geotechnology, Inc.
Hinkle Construction Services, LLC
Hinkle Environmental Services, LLC

Lynn Imaging|Monster Color
Integrated Engineering
E&H Bridge & Grating, Inc.
Bacon|Farmer|Workman Engineering, Inc.
Trinity Highway Products
Site-Safe, LLC
Thelen Associates, 
A Division of Geotechnology, Inc.
American Engineers, Inc.
Irving Materials Group, (imi)
Louisville Regional Airport Authority
Roadway Construction Products (RCP)
Palmer Engineering
Hinkle Environmental Services, LLC

 Kentuckians for Better Transportation | (502) 491-5600 |