Governor Andy Beshear announced more than $2.3 million in investments for Pike County on Wednesday, including improvements to Breaks Interstate Park.
“All of these projects will improve the lives of Pike County residents,” Beshear said. “We support communities across the Commonwealth, and today’s funding will help Eastern Kentucky for generations to come.”
The governor awarded a $358,035 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to Breaks Interstate Park. ARC funds will be used to improve the recreation area at Ratliff Hole in Pike County, which is less than 0.2 miles from a future pedestrian suspension bridge. This project will provide a trail connection between the bridge and the Ratliff Hole area and improve the existing reception and parking facilities. The facilities serve swimmers and kayakers who use the Russell Fork River and have not been updated since 1990.
“The Breaks Interstate Park Commission is engaged in an ongoing effort to expand our offerings on the Pike County portion of the park property,” said Austin Bradley, Superintendent of Breaks Interstate Park. “To that end, we have secured over $1 million in funding for the construction of a pedestrian bridge over the Russell Fork River, which will serve as a spectacular new starting point for the Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail.”
Funding is administered by the Kentucky Department for Local Government.
Breaks Interstate Park is a bi-state state park located partly in southeastern Kentucky and mostly in southwestern Virginia in the Jefferson National Forest at the northeast end of Pine Mountain . It is jointly managed by the two republics.
Earlier today, Governor Beshear announced his recommendation that the CRA approve a $780,444 grant to the center. If approved, the funding will provide equipment and educational materials for a nursing training complex at Pikeville Medical Center. The grant would ensure that the complex has adequate classroom equipment and facilities, science lab equipment, and simulation lab equipment.
ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments that focuses on 420 counties in the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and enhance economic growth in Appalachia and help the region achieve socio-economic parity with the nation.