In the initial weeks of construction, the contractor has been working along the median with shoulder restrictions. Starting Tuesday night the contractor plans to start placement of a concrete base that will anchor the barrier posts. Construction of the base will require night lane restrictions starting at 8 p.m., CDT, and continuing until about 6 a.m.
All traffic will move to the right-hand or driving lane in the work zone. Motorists should be alert for slowing and merging traffic as they travel I-24 in the Paducah area.
Motorists should use appropriate caution where equipment, flaggers, and construction personnel are working along the median area. These night lane restrictions will continue on Wednesday and Thursday night.
Concrete trucks will be entering and leaving the work zone. The crew pouring the concrete base expects to cover about a mile per night.
This work zone along I-24 in the Paducah area is to install median cable barriers from mile point 1.5 near the I-24 Ohio River Bridge in McCracken County extending eastward to mile point 17.920 near the KY 787
Overpass in Marshall County, a distance of about 16.4 miles.
The work zone includes a 55 mph speed limit with double fines and an enhanced enforcement presence. The installation crew will work mainly, Monday through Friday, anytime weather permits. Whenever possible, work requiring lane restrictions will be completed at night to minimize traffic disruptions. The work zone will be taken down for the Labor Day holiday weekend travel period.
Median cable barrier is designed to provide an extra margin of safety for motorists. The cables reduce the likelihood of vehicles involved in a crash crossing the median into oncoming traffic. A section of cable barrier has been completed in Christian County from about the 70 mile marker to Exit 86. Another section is under construction from Exit 86 to the Kentucky-Tennessee State Line.
In the last four years, there have been 13 fatal crashes on the entire 93 miles of I-24 through western Kentucky. Five of those involved crossover collisions - two in McCracken County (2010, 2011) and three in Christian County (two in 2011, one in 2013). There were no crossover crashes recorded on I-24 in Kentucky during 2012. As a comparison, heavily traveled interstates in Louisville/Jefferson County recorded 26 crossover fatality crashes in about a four-year period prior to barrier installation. That number dropped to one after installation.
Kentucky has about 146 miles of barrier installed - most of it along interstates and parkways in urban areas.
As the new section of median cable barrier nears completion, KYTC and the contractor will schedule a session to train police, ambulance, fire-rescue, wrecker operators, and other emergency personnel on the new feature and the best way to safely remove vehicles that hit it.
George B. Stone Company, LLC, is the prime contractor on the $3.1 million project, which includes a section in Christian County.
Installation of the McCracken and Marshall County section has an anticipated completion date around Nov. 1. An additional 15-mile section of cable barrier was completed along I-24 earlier this summer.For more information on the median cable barrier being installed along I-24 go to http://www.brifenusa.com/files/main.html.
Information provided by Keith Todd
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