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Why “SHIFT” Now? 

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 overprogrammed Highway Plan that currently includes more than $6 billion in unfunded transportation projects.


How SHIFT Works

SHIFT is a collaborative model that uses measurable data to assess the benefits of planned projects and compare them to each another. 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)
 Projects of Statewide Significance

Statewide projects are those that have a statewide impact such as interstates, major arterials and highways. National Highway System (NHS) projects are ranked using the statewide formula which is based solely on quantitative data, such as crashes and average daily traffic. The Cabinet has identified 70 projects of statewide importance to consider for funding from the statewide funding pool.

Using the data-driven approach, SHIFT has helped KYTC identify the highest ranking projects across the state. The top NHS projects are prioritized for funding from the statewide funding pool. The remaining NHS projects can be considered for regional funding.  

Regional Projects

Local transportation leaders, including Area Development Districts, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and KYTC Chief District Engineers, across the state will prioritize projects at the regional and district level. The state is grouped into four regions, comprised of three state highway districts in each. An equal portion of funds will be allocated to each region. The groups will consider more than 1,100 projects that have been scored using SHIFT. Regions will submit their selected projects to KYTC in early fall.

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What’s Next


SHIFT is a collaborative process that engages local, district and state leaders in shaping the next recommended Highway Plan. District and local leaders have the opportunity to suggest changes and involve citizens in the discussion.
Following the release of the proposed statewide projects, district and local transportation leaders will have a chance to weigh in on which regional projects should move up in the priority rankings. SHIFT creates a more level playing field across the state by allocating regional priority funding evenly across four regions.

In the fall, KYTC will combine state and regional lists to produce a prioritized, balanced plan to send to the Governor and legislators for consideration when developing the next Highway Plan during the 2018 General Assembly.


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Supporting Documents


Projects of Statewide Significance

Statewide Project Scores

Press Release

SHIFT Summary


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