Last updated: June 17. 2014 5:35PM - 3002 Views
By Joe P. Asher jasher@civitasmedia.com



Photos by Jeff Phillips|Daily EnterpriseMotorists traveling KY 3459 in Sunshine need an alternate route as the highway is closed near the former Deaton's Grocery. Although crews have dug and smashed the old culvert to replace it, a waterline is now the subject of a legal action in Harlan Circuit Court, apparently preventing the state from completing the project until the issue is resolved.
Photos by Jeff Phillips|Daily EnterpriseMotorists traveling KY 3459 in Sunshine need an alternate route as the highway is closed near the former Deaton's Grocery. Although crews have dug and smashed the old culvert to replace it, a waterline is now the subject of a legal action in Harlan Circuit Court, apparently preventing the state from completing the project until the issue is resolved.
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Motorists attempting to travel KY 3459 through the Sunshine community are finding their progress difficult due to road work that has been halted due to a court order.


The city of Harlan and the Harlan Municipal Water Works Commission filed a complaint against the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on Monday.


According to a restraining order issued by Harlan Circuit Court Judge Henry Johnson, the city has asked the court to “prohibit the transportation cabinet from excavating, exposing, digging in or around, removing support or in any way damaging or exposing the buried public water utility pipeline to the possibility of damage.”


The order states the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet intends to remove a culvert that runs underneath KY 3459 and replace it with a larger concrete culvert.


A press release from the transportation cabinet advises that KY 3459 is to be closed June 19 though July 3.


“KY 3459 in Harlan County will be closed… between Gilbert Street and Middleton Street,” reads the release.


According to the release, the closure is necessary to allow crews to perform a culvert replacement.


The complaint states the transportation cabinet demanded the city pay for the work.


“The defendant has demanded the plaintiff remove and or re-route said waterline at the sole expense of the plaintiff, all in contravention of KRS 177.035, which required the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s costs to relocate the pipeline,” reads the complaint.


The complaint further states the city was not given 30 days notice to re-route the pipeline as required, and that the transportation cabinet has refused to pay for the relocation.


There are also safety concerns addressed in the complaint.


The complaint states the city is obligated to provide a continuous flow of potable water to its customers and maintain water pressure to fire hydrants, and any interruption of service could be life-threatening.


The city is asking the state pay the costs of relocation of the waterline in the amount of $25,385, according to the complaint.


Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 1161 or on Twitter #joe_hde

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