Paducah gets DOT funding for riverfront improvements

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The City of Paducah, Ky., says it is to get $10.4 million in funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant program. Though the grant funding will help upgrade riverboat access, it apparently does not include funding requested by the city to add new Container on Barge (COB) facilities

In July of this year, the City submitted a grant application to the DOT requesting funding to improve various transportation elements along its downtown riverfront.

Mayor Brandi Harless says that the Ohio River is “what made us a city, and our downtown is what’s makes us unique. It’s the beginnings of our existence here, and it deserves to be honored and for us to take full advantage of its potential.”

Paducah will be receiving $10.4 million for its Riverfront Commons project which includes improvements to its Riverboat Excursion Pier and Plaza, which was identified in a 2007 Riverfront Master Plan as one of many projects to enhance Paducah’s riverfront. The pier will provide a docking point for the riverboats that visit the City. Currently, visitors disembark and must climb a steep slope to access the downtown area. The installation will provide a safer and easier transition from boat to land, allow for more secure riverboat dockings, and move the disembarkation point out of the flow of traffic at the Foot of Broadway.

Other improvements will include bike, pedestrian, and broadband linkages and Improvements to the landing near the city’s Transient Boat Dock.


Paducah apparently did not get everything it asked for. In its BUILD Grant Application, the city also sought funding for development of the Riverport Container Transfer Yard to prepare the Riverport to support the emerging demand for Container on Barge (COB) in the four-state region, saying that new COB capabilities would provide regional shippers with a cost-effective option to move goods to both domestic and international markets, thereby reducing semi-truck traffic on highways.

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