The plan was recommended by Palmer Engineering, which considered seven alternatives to address the matter in a 2003 engineering study. Most of the alternatives involved building new streets to reroute traffic — either to Maple Street or Old Paris Pike.
After the study was completed six years ago, the city commission decided to build a two-lane overpass spanning I-64 that could direct traffic through the Winchester Industrial Park.
That option has since been abandoned in light of state plans to widen the interstate to six lanes, which would dramatically increase the project's cost. Officials have also identified sight problems with the route.
A representative from Palmer Engineering, Gary Sharpe, said the new proposal meets all the commission's safety and connectivity criteria at a slightly lower cost than comparable options.
"There are lots of issues, but this is our best assessment at this time," he said.
The proposed street will run through three properties. With the option determined, officials will next need to meet with property owners and communicate plans to state officials in an effort to obtain funding, said Mayor Ed Burtner.
State Rep. Don Pasley, D-Winchester, said he plans to work with state Sen. R.J. Palmer, D-Winchester, to seek funds through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. If money is secured, he recommended that city officials manage the project to speed up progress.
"This clearly has safety implications," he said. "It's not good to have heavy truck traffic in a residential area."
About a half dozen residents in the area have expressed public support for the project so far.
James Robinson of Seventh Street said some neighbors are pessimistic that a solution ever be implemented.
But he added: "It's a win-win situation for the community."
Contact Mike Wynn at email@example.com.