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2018 Recommended Highway Plan

Recommended Highway Plan

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has developed an unprecedented 2018 Recommended Highway Plan that has shifted from an over-programmed list of projects to a balanced plan of priority projects based on available funding. Outlining transportation priorities for the next six years (FY 2018-FY 2020), the plan includes a record additional annual investment of $1 billion in funding to repair bridges and pavements motorists and businesses depend on across the Commonwealth. In the Recommended Highway Plan, more than one-third of critical bridges will be replaced or repaired. The $6.6 billion balanced plan is based on revenue projections from traditional state and federal highway dollars. Of the total, $2.6 billion is dedicated to SHIFT priority projects, $2.3 billion for bridge and pavement needs, $1.1 billion in federally dedicated programs (such as the Transportation Alternative Program or Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program) and $0.6 billion for federal GARVEE debt service payments. For the last 18 months, the KYTC staff and local transportation leaders evaluated and scored more than 1,200 projects across the state using the new Strategic Highway Investment Formula for Tomorrow (SHIFT). The model was a useful guide in prioritizing projects. Other factors, such as completing significant corridors, fulfilling previous commitments and evaluating impacts to communities, were also considered. The 2018 Recommended Highway Plan will support the General Assembly's decision-making process to enact a final Highway Plan.

What is SHIFT​

Charged by Governor Matt Bevin to create a new system for prioritizing transportation dollars that is data-driven, objective and transparent, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet developed a strategic funding model to invest limited transportation funding across Kentucky.  Composed of both statewide and regional projects, SHIFT is a tool to create a more balanced plan that is shaped by state and local transportation leaders' input. The approach helps bring balance and dependability to Kentucky’s previously overprogrammed Highway Plan.

How SHIFT Works

SHIFT is a collaborative model that uses measurable data to assess the benefits of planned projects and compare them to each other. SHIFT allows policy makers to see just how far down the priority list our limited dollars will go and which other projects could be funded if additional dollars are generated.

Projects are scored based on these factors:

  • Improving safety

  • Preserving existing infrastructure

  • Reducing congestion

  • Fueling economic growth

  • Spending tax dollars wisely (cost/benefit)

What SHIFT Includes

SHIFT dollars are devoted to capital improvement projects that are funded with state and federal dollars or only federal dollars. The chart below shows the types of projects included in SHIFT and those that fall outside the scope of SHIFT that use other funding sources. 


Projects Included
Projects Outside of SHIFT
Safety Improvements
Rural and Municipal Aid
Road Widening
MPO Dedicated Projects
Other Federally Dedicated Projects
(safety, bike/ped, congestion, etc.)
New Interchanges
Maintenance Projects
(pavement, bridges, etc.)
New Routes
Major infrastructure projects
(federally significant projects)

SHIFT Scores

KYTC staff and local transportation leaders (Area Development Districts, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and KYTC District Chief Engineers) evaluated and scored more than 1,100 projects across the state using the SHIFT model to guide the prioritization process to propose projects in the 2018 Recommended Highway Plan. Other factors, such as completing significant corridors, fulfilling previous commitments and evaluating impacts to communities, were also considered. The 2018 Recommended Highway Plan will support the General Assembly's decision-making process to enact a final Highway Plan.

Projects were categorized in one of two categories: statewide and regional. Statewide projects are those that have a statewide impact, such as interstates, major arterials and highways. Regional projects are transportation improvements within similar geographical sections of the Commonwealth (four regions, each consisting of three state highway districts). Each project was assigned a SHIFT score based on the same five components: safety, asset management, congestion, economic growth and benefit/cost. The output scores for statewide projects and regional projects are not comparable because the formula weighting differs. Statewide projects are scored solely on quantitative data, such as crashes and average daily traffic. Regional projects are 70% quantitative (based on the SHIFT formula) and 30% qualitative (input from regional transportation leaders). The output scores are also not comparable between regions (e.g., a SHIFT score of 70 in the west region is not comparable to a SHIFT score of 70 in the north region). ​

The regional and statewide scores for all of the projects scored through the SHIFT process are available in the supporting documents section below. The statewide list includes the scores of the 70 projects identified from the National Highway System to be of statewide significance​, as well as 19 transition projects that had 2017 lettings and commitments. 

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SHIFT Regions

Supporting Documents

Press Release


SHIFT North Region Scores

SHIFT South Region Scores

SHIFT West Region Scores

SHIFT East Region Scores

SHIFT Statewide Scores

​2018 Recommended Highway Plan​

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