OWENSBORO, Ky. (10/24/13) – A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) plans to open some of the new ramps at the KY 54/East Parrish Avenue Interchange with U.S. 60/Wendell Ford Expressway in Owensboro in the next few days. The contractor is awaiting arrival of required signage.
The project, which started in March, includes new ramps to and from U.S. 60 with a new signalized intersection on KY 54/East Parrish Avenue at the entrance to the new Heartland Crossing/Menards De-velopment. While the traffic signal will come later, the new ramps feature an extended acceleration lane for KY 54 traffic transitioning to the U.S. 60 westbound lanes. The new interchange eliminates the need for KY 54 eastbound traffic to make a left turn to enter U.S. 60 westbound.
KYTC District 2 Chief District Engineer Kevin McClearn said motorists should be aware that the turn radius on the new ramps is tighter than the old ramps at this location.
"It was necessary to tighten the curvature to fit the ramps into the existing right of way," McClearn said. "The project design compensated for the necessary lower ramp speeds by extending the accelera-tion lane along U.S. 60 to allow motorists to safely gain speed before merging into the main line of westbound traffic."
While the new ramps from KY 54 to U.S. 60 are opening, additional work is required to connect a new ramp from U.S. 60 westbound to the new intersection on KY 54 opposite the Heartland Crossing De-velopment. That phase of the work is expected to continue over the next two months with the new traf-fic signal being activated once that ramp is completed.
McClearn said the project grew out of discussions at the Owensboro Planning and Zoning public meet-ings on how to best handle added traffic generated by the Heartland Crossing/Menards Development.
"Matching up the ramps to and from U.S. 60 to the Heartland Crossing/Menards entrance benefits all travelers in the area, and the addition of a right turn on-ramp from KY 54 to U.S. 60 westbound with an extended acceleration lane adds a lot of functionality to the interchange. It eliminates the need for a left turn lane between the Heartland Crossing entrance and the Byers Avenue/Ragu Drive intersection," McClearn said.
In addition to new ramps at the KY 54/U.S. 60 interchange, the project includes improvements on KY 54 at the intersection with East Byers Avenue/Ragu Drive immediately west of the U.S. 60 Inter-change. These improvements include a new signal, a new eastbound right turn lane on KY 54 at East Byers Avenue, and an additional outbound lane on Ragu Drive at the intersection.
KYTC District 2 spokesman Keith Todd indicated the ramps should be opened to traffic in the next few days and that a traffic advisory would be forthcoming once the schedule firms up.
Yager Materials is the prime contractor on the $2.55 million project.
Timely traffic advisories for the 11 counties of KYTC Highway District 2 are available by going to www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict2.
Information Provided by Keith Todd
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