MURRAY – The project to widen U.S. 641 South into a four-lane highway from Murray to the Tennessee state line is ahead of schedule and slated to be completed next summer, a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman said Thursday.

Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers is the prime contractor for the project, which was jump-started in December 2018 with a $23 million federal BUILD (Better Using Investments to Leverage Development) grant awarded to the Calloway County Fiscal Court, KYTC said. The total contract is for $37.6 million, and when completed, there will be a new section of U.S. 641 from Murray to Hazel and the Kentucky-Tennessee line. The existing two-lane highway carries about 6,000 vehicles per day, and KYTC said that in addition to improving safety for daily commuters, the new highway is expected to improve economic development opportunities by connecting Murray and Calloway County to Paris, Tennessee, and to Interstate 40 on to the south.