The Second Street Corridor TIGER Grant Project in the City of Frankfort, Kentucky, has been awarded an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National Engineering Excellence Recognition Award. US 60 (Second Street) passes through the heart of the City of Frankfort with infrastructure more than a century old. The railroad used to build the State Capitol originally ran along Second Street. After abandonment of the tracks in the 1930s, the corridor became vehicular-centric and was given the nickname ‘Gasoline Alley.’ The Second Street Corridor needed to be reconstructed to address safety and usability by more vulnerable users such as elementary students and those with mobility challenges, accessibility for South Frankfort residents, reliability of utilities, and impacts to the environment.
The completed $8 million project has key attributes, including:
- Enhanced Mobility – The project corrected and advanced improvements for the Bridge Street intersection and the pedestrian crossing for 2nd Street Elementary School. Wider sidewalks and a compressed street cross section serves to calm traffic and provide safer pedestrian crossings. Additionally, removing underutilized travel lanes provides room for bicycle mobility and decreases travel speeds, supporting pedestrian safety and usability and providing greenspace opportunities that augment the streetscape and enhance adjacent spaces and land uses along the corridor.
- Improved Accessibility – The High Street and E. Main Street intersection previously created a barrier to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility from East Main Street to downtown Frankfort, detouring pedestrians across the river and back for access to downtown. Removal of barriers allows unimpeded access between the State Capitol and Downtown Frankfort for residents and visitors alike, while enhancing connectivity opportunities with the Kentucky River.
- Environmental Sustainability – The finished project is improving water quality and reducing wastewater treatment costs for the Frankfort Sewer Department by removing stormwater inflow from the City’s combined sewer system (CSS). The project is further improving water quality with the installation of rain gardens and pervious pavers. Finally, the project also uncovered and mitigated the removal of 10 underground petroleum storage tanks from the aptly nicknamed ‘Gasoline Alley’ corridor.
- Enhanced the Streetscape Character – The pedestrian area was expanded to include enhanced landscaping, benches, and brick pavers. Granite storyline pavers describing the historically significant events and features line the corridor. Overhead utilities were moved underground from Bridge Street to Capital Avenue, enabling decorative streetlighting to be installed. Finally, the project provided public space and a foundation for public art that will be installed at the Bridge Street intersection.
The Second Street Corridor TIGER Grant Project has also won the 2023 ACEC Kentucky Engineering Excellence Grand Award.