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Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
(MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. - November 2, 2012) Let it be proclaimed! Thanks to the efforts of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), Park City, Kentucky and Mammoth Cave National Park are now linked via a paved path for bicyclists and hikers. As part of the I-65 widening project, KYTC constructed a bicycle lane through the underpass, adjacent to Highway 255.
On November 1, Park City Mayor David Lyons and Mammoth Cave National Park Acting Superintendent Bruce Powell presented a formal proclamation to Greg Merideth of KYTC District 3 in a gesture of appreciation to KYTC for its "…superior foresight and collaboration in the construction of the Park City interchange, connecting a gateway community to a national park via a safe and appealing green space."
"We have been looking forward to this moment for ten years," said Powell. "The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has been an excellent partner. The end product is more than we ever envisioned."
"In Park City, we are very grateful to have a safe and handsome connection to the park," said Lyons. "People who frequent our city path can now continue on to the Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike and Hike Trail. It will be good for the health of our residents and good for business, too."
The one-mile Park City Bicycle and Walking Path winds through town, past historic Bell's Tavern and the Mentz Hotel. In the Park, the nine-mile trail follows the remaining portions of the old berm of the Mammoth Cave Railroad.
Text of the proclamation reads as follows:
"WHEREAS, the Kentucky Department of Transportation has completed widening of five miles of Interstate Highway 65, including the Park City interchange at mile-marker 48, greatly improving safety and way-finding for residents of Kentucky and 600,000 visitors per year to Mammoth Cave National Park; and
"WHEREAS, the Kentucky Department of Transportation reestablished an historic link between Park City and Mammoth Cave National Park, and provided a lane for bicycle traffic through the underpass joining the Park City Bicycle and Walking Path with the Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike and Hike Trail, thus completing the entire trail which has been a common goal for more than ten years; and
"WHEREAS, it is the mission of the Kentucky Department of Transportation to provide a safe, efficient, environmentally sound and fiscally responsible transportation system that delivers economic opportunity and enhances the quality of life in Kentucky, and enhance opportunities for multi-modal transportation; and
"WHEREAS, the city of Park City, Kentucky, has served as a gateway to Mammoth Cave for nearly 200 years for visitors who traveled to south central Kentucky by horseback, stagecoach, railroad, and automobile and now bicyclists and pedestrians; and
"WHEREAS, Park City and Mammoth Cave share common history related to the Mammoth Cave Railroad, which operated between the two entities from 1886 to 1931; and
"WHEREAS, Mammoth Cave National Park was established in 1941 to protect and preserve the caves, including 390-mile Mammoth Cave, scenic riverways and rugged karst landscape typical of south central Kentucky;
"NOW, THEREFORE, I, David Lyons, Mayor of Park City, and I, Bruce M. Powell, Acting Superintendent of Mammoth Cave National Park, do hereby set our hands expressing our sincerest gratitude to Greg Meredith and the Kentucky Department of Transportation-District 3, for their superior foresight and collaboration in the construction of the Park City interchange, connecting a gateway community to a national park via a safe and appealing green space."