The Kentucky House is expected to vote this week on a resolution that seeks to restore a waterway that runs more than 250 miles through Central and Southeast Kentucky.
The Kentucky River generally flows northwest from Beattyville until it connects with the Ohio River at Carrolton. House Resolution 37 encourages restoration and maintenance of the waterway to ensure full navigability for economic and tourism development purposes. The Kentucky River Authority oversees locks and dams along the river. Authority Director David Hamilton doesn’t envision commercial traffic along the river. “I don’t foresee items like back in the day when you had commercial navigation and when I say commercial navigation talking about barge traffic, the stuff of that nature,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton says decades ago timber and coal did travel by barge along the upper reaches of the Kentucky River. But, he says a sand and gravel barge stopped running along the lower stretch of the river some 20 years ago.
Kentucky Conservation Committee Director Lane Boldman says KCC is always interested in any initiative that brings more attention to the health of waterways. “We want to make sure that any development aspects, take environmental concerns into consideration of course as far as how it affects flooding, how it affects corporate interests, how it affects the local communities along the river,” Boldman said.
Kentucky River Authority Director David Hamilton says four of 14 locks along the river between Carrolton and Frankfort are open during summer weekends. He says restoration work is planned for lock five.
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