Richmond, KY— Today, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) delivered a major, $5 million federal grant for the Economy Road project in Madison County.  Congressman Barr secured these funds during the last federal appropriations process.  This project will construct a roadway that runs from Highway 52 to the Central Kentucky Regional Airport, improving traffic safety for Kentuckians traveling to the airport.  Currently, drivers on Caleast Road must navigate a narrow road from the interstate to the airport.  

Economy Road will provide a safer method of transportation for the nearly 300 students attending aviation school at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), who regularly commute between EKU’s main campus and the airport where flight operations are headquartered.  Located in an Opportunity Zone adjacent to I-75, Economy Road will also create a space for businesses to flourish, builders to develop much needed housing, and serve as a recruitment tool for industry looking to locate within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population.  

“Enhancing traffic safety through the airport for students and Kentuckians traveling there while creating a building block for the community to attract new businesses and foster economic activity is a win-win,” said Congressman Barr.  “I am pleased that our office was able to work with Judge Taylor, local, and community leaders to advocate for this project.  I look forward to seeing the impact it will make in Madison County once it is completed.”

“I couldn’t be more grateful to Congressman Barr and everyone who helped us to secure this Federal funding to make Madison County better,” said Madison County Judge Executive Reagan Taylor.  “Infrastructure, public safety and economic development are all key components to a successful Madison County and this project will improve all of them. This is another great example of how we fight for projects and funding every day to make Madison County better. Economy Road is a strategic piece of progress for this county and a project of this magnitude will have a lasting impact on the citizens of Madison County.”

“Economy Road will make a huge difference for safety and economic activity in our county, by improving access to the airport the city of Richmond will benefit. I appreciate Congressman Barr’s work in securing this grant award and I know the county will do a great job implementing this project,” said Robert Blythe, Mayor of the City of Richmond.

“We were very happy to hear the announcement that federal funding is available for the construction of Economy Road.  In partnership with the City of Richmond, Madison County Fiscal Court, and Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), we have made great progress in modernizing the infrastructure in and around the Central Kentucky Regional Airport," said Bruce Fraley, Mayor of the City of Berea.  "The construction of Economy Road is greatly needed, and helps solidify all of our efforts to modernize the airport.  This will have a positive impact on the economy of our entire county as week as surrounding counties and will help our friends at EKU expand their Aviation program.  I am very grateful for Congressman Barr’s extra effort to obtain funding for this important project.”

“EKU is extremely thankful for the investment in Economy Road – a road that hundreds of our students travel every day of the year to complete their flight training in pursuit of their aviation degree,” said EKU President David McFaddin.  “Aviation is one of our fastest growing degree programs.  As we strive to help alleviate the pilot shortage, we anticipate continued enrollment growth in this field of study, putting more students on Economy Road.  Thank you to Judge Taylor and Congressman Barr for championing this project.” 

'On behalf of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce we are excited about the opportunities for growth with the announcement of Economy Road,” said Madison Pergrem, Interim Director of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.  “This project will help enhance, support and engage businesses in our community, which is what the Chamber strives to achieve every day."