UPDATE: State to Relocate Boyd County Cemetery for Road Widening Project

By: The Associated Press, Andrew Colegrove Email
By: The Associated Press, Andrew Colegrove Email

CANNONSBURG, Ky. (AP, WSAZ) -- A cemetery in Boyd County, Ky., 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.

Wednesday Tom and Ruby Bayless visited the cemetery where Tom’s uncle is buried.

“Just thinking about it makes me feel like it's wrong," Ruby said. "It bothers me. It really does, because these people had chosen their final resting place, and now they don't have that privilege."

Charles Whitlock's sister-in-law has family buried in the cemetery. He doesn't believe Route 60 needs to be widened to four lanes, not at the cost of disturbing the dead.

"You don't bury them there with the intention of moving them,” Whitlock said. “I wouldn't want my family cemetery moved just to build a road, a road we don't need."

Transportation official Robyn Ramey says some the remains are so old, archaeologists plan to study them after exhumation and before they are relocated.

Allen Blair, a spokesman with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, says they're still in the planning stages, and it'll likely be a few years before the physical work on the project begins.

Blair says so far they've only heard from three relatives, and they're hoping more come forward.

“We’re working to continue to notify family,” he said. “We need to work very closely with next of kin. We want to make sure this is handled properly.”

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