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Ky to relocate cemetery for road widening project

Jul. 17, 2013 @ 01:06 PM

CANNONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A cemetery in northeastern Kentucky is being relocated to make way for construction to widen U.S. 60 between Ky. 180 and Interstate 64.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials say Colvin Calvin Cemetery near Cannonsburg contains as many as 150 sets of remains and many of the grave sites are unmarked and date from the early 1800s.

The age of the cemetery has made it difficult for officials to locate living relatives of those buried at Colvin Calvin, spurring transportation officials to approach the Boyd County Fiscal Court to sign off on the planned relocations. The court approved the request Tuesday.

Transportation official Robyn Ramey told The Independent some of the remains are so old, archaeologists plan to study them after exhumation and before relocation.

Ramey said so far, only three family members have contacted the state about the planned relocation and she’s hoping more will come forward.

The next of kin reached have requested all remains be moved to the same location, said Ramey. Under state law, when a cemetery is relocated remains must be placed in another perpetual care cemetery.

When the move is done the land will first be stripped, but grave sites will be dug by hand. Remains, including those of unmarked sites, will be placed in containers and moved to new locations. Tombstones for unmarked graves will be erected at the new site and will include the name of the cemetery they were relocated from.

State Highway Department spokesman Allen Blair said the stretch of U.S. 60 roadway between I-64 exit 181 and the intersection of Ky. 180 is traveled by 10,500 to 13,500 vehicles daily. Although designs are not complete, engineers plan to widen the roadway to “relieve congestion and improve safety.”