Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Lisa Autry

Warren County is one of only four counties in Kentucky that’s currently issuing Real ID driver’s licenses.

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 following the nine-eleven terrorist attacks.  The law mandates every state issue driver’s licenses that are more resistant to tampering or fraud.

Warren Circuit Clerk Brandi Duvall spoke to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday.  She said the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which is issuing Real ID licenses, plans to open 12 regional offices in the state with each serving ten counties, following approval from the General Assembly.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

A federal judge has ordered the state of Kentucky to pay more than $150,000 in legal fees stemming from a lawsuit against the state Transportation Cabinet. 

The state must pay for work performed by attorneys for the ACLU of Kentucky and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.  The two groups represented Kenton County resident Ben Hart. 

Hart, who is an atheist, filed a lawsuit in 2016 after the Transportation Cabinet denied him a personalized license plate that read “IMGOD.”  The Division of Motor Vehicles said the message was “not in good taste.” 


Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Calling it a “work in progress,” Kentucky lawmakers are still considering a bill that would limit a governor’s power to appoint a state transportation secretary.

The bill is sponsored by a Republican leader of the state Senate and would require Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear to pick a transportation secretary out of a list generated by a board comprised of members selected by influential lobbying groups.

The Senate would have final authority to confirm or reject the governor’s pick.

Sen. Jimmy Higdon, a Republican from Lebanon, said the bill would make the Transportation Cabinet transparent and accountable.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Kentucky’s transportation cabinet is moving forward with its plan to set up twelve hubs across the state to issue Real ID driver’s licenses.

The enhanced identification cards will be required to board commercial air flights and enter military bases starting in October of next year unless a passport, military ID or other accepted identification is provided.

Kentucky Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson said that with less than a year until the deadline, setting up regional centers for citizens to obtain the ID cards is the fastest option.

 


Freedom From Religion Foundation

A federal court ruling has cleared the way for a Kentucky man to get a personalized license plate reading “IM GOD.” 

When Plaintiff Ben Hart relocated to Kentucky in 2016, he applied for a personalized license plate for his vehicle to convey the same message he had on his Ohio-issued license plate.

Hart filed a lawsuit after the Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicles initially refused his request, calling the “IM GOD” message obscene or vulgar.  Later, the state said the plate was rejected because it was “not in good taste,” and could distract other drivers or possibly lead to confrontations.


Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Kentucky is once again delaying its REAL ID drivers licensing program, a little more than a year before the high-security licenses, a passport, or other form of federal ID will be needed to board domestic airline flights.

The state Transportation Cabinet has abandoned its plan to issue the licenses through local circuit court clerks and now plans to set up regional centers around the state where drivers can apply for them.

The announcement comes after a series of delays implementing the enhanced licensing system that is mandated by a 2005 federal law that requires states to make identification systems more secure.


Lisa Autry

What’s in a name?  

Some rural communities between Bowling Green and Owensboro are hoping investment. 

The newly designated Interstate 165 is expected to be an economic shot in the arm for towns along what was formerly known as the Natcher Parkway. 

The William H. Natcher Parkway carries some 50,000 vehicles daily between Bowling Green and Owensboro.  The 72-mile corridor is expected to get more crowded now that the parkway is a spur of Interstate 65.  Kentucky Transportation Secretary Greg Thomas made the announcement in Bowling Green in March.

“We are proudly witnessing the transition of the Natcher Parkway to a federally-recognized interstate, I-165," Thomas said. 


Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has been granted another extension on compliance with the REAL ID Act. This will allow current state driver’s licenses to be used for air travel until October 2020.

 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has determined that the Commonwealth is fully compliant with the new ID regulations. This follows a pilot launch of new driver’s licenses, permits, and IDs in Franklin and Woodford counties.

 

When the pilot period ends a county-by-county rollout will begin. The REAL ID Act of 2005 set new nationwide requirements for identification.

Lisa Autry

Economic development opportunities are opening up for Warren, Butler, Ohio, and Daviess counties along the new Interstate 165, formerly known as the William H. Natcher Parkway. 

Governow Matt Bevin joined local elected leaders and business representatives in Bowling Green on Tuesday to celebrate the designation.

The project, announced in 2016, will upgrade the 70-mile corridor between Bowling Green and Owensboro to an interstate spur. 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Federal Highway Administration agreed last fall to officially designate the Natcher Parkway as I-165. 

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky earned a grade of C- in a new infrastructure report card from the state’s American Society of Civil Engineers. The state received a grade of C in the last infrastructure report card in 2011. Kentucky’s civil engineers looked at the Commonwealth’s aviation, roads, bridges, drinking and waste water and energy.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recently instituted a program to restore more than one thousand bridges across the state. The repairs are expected to extend the life of the bridges by 30 years. Tom Rockaway is the chair of Kentucky’s infrastructure report card committee.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

The state Transportation Cabinet is conducting a traffic study near the campus of Western Kentucky University. 

The area from the Morgantown Road intersection to the University Blvd intersection is heavily congested, as well as the surrounding roads. 

Transportation Cabinet Spokesman Wes Watt says construction is still several years away, but the study will determine if several small projects can improve safety and traffic flow or if major construction is need.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Kentucky transportation officials say newly redesigned driver's licenses will enhance security and make it harder for counterfeiters to duplicate.

State Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson showed off the design at a news conference Monday.

With the change, Kentucky will become one of the final states to comply with a federal travel law passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The state will begin issuing the new licenses in January.

Credit Flickr/Creative Commons/Doug Kerr

Construction is underway to bring the Natcher Parkway in Ohio and Daviess counties up to interstate standards. 

The work zone runs north from the Ohio-Butler County line to the U.S. 60 Interchange in Daviess County.  Keith Todd, a spokesman for the state Transportation Cabinet, says the work will include the removal of concrete where toll booths were once located under the Kentucky 69 overpass.

"When we took out those tollbooths several years ago, it left some rough concrete that has deteriorated over the years, so they're going to jack hammer that out and replace that pavement," Todd explained.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Motorists who use the William H. Natcher Parkway in Warren County can expect traffic delays through the end of the year. 

Construction work begins on Monday that will upgrade the parkway into an Interstate 65 spur. 

The Natcher will be down to one lane in both directions between exit six at US 31-W, which is Nashville Road, and exit seven at US 68, which is Russellville Road. 

Public Domain

After years of dwindling returns, revenue into Kentucky’s road fund was higher than expected during the fiscal year that ended on June 30.

But state officials say that won’t happen again this year because money gleaned from motor fuels is due to be flat and vehicle registration taxes aren’t expected to surpass projections again.

The road fund finances state road and bridge construction across Kentucky. The fund’s main sources of money are gas tax revenues, which are pegged to the price of gas, and the motor vehicle usage tax, which is paid when someone buys or transfers ownership of a car.

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