Local News

More Interstate Repairs On Tap For Louisville Area

Some major interstate highway repairs will continue in the Louisville area over the next several months.

Much of the current work is on Interstate-71 between downtown Louisville and the Watterson Expressway. It was shut down for paving last weekend and lane reductions this month may cause sometimes lengthy delays.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman Andrea Clifford says repairs will also require another weekend shutdown of a portion of the interstate next month.

“Currently we have planned to have northbound 71 closed between downtown and the Watterson the weekend of June 1-4, and they will have it closed, just the northbound side that weekend to do the final asphalt surface on those northbound lanes,” Clifford said.

Still to come this summer are major repairs to the Kennedy Bridge. Most of that work will take place between mid-June and the end of July.

Local News

As Weather Warms Up, So Does Highway Repair Work

From Stu Johnson, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky’s highway construction season moves into high gear this month. Crews are at work on I-64 in several eastern Kentucky counties. State Transportation Cabinet Spokeswoman Natasha Lacy says the moderate winter means there should actually be fewer road repairs.

“It will be similar probably to last summer. There will be probably less pothole repair work, because we had a mild winter. Therefore we don’t have as many potholes to of course give attention to in previous years when the weather was drastic,” she said.

Maintenance crews are also planning bridge repairs on Lexington’s busy New Circle Road.

In the Louisville area, repair work continues on Interstate 71 and the Kennedy Bridge.

Local News

Bridge Reopening Clears Way for Kentucky Road Improvement Projects

The reopening of the Sherman Minton Bridge over the weekend means two major Kentucky Transportation Cabinet improvement projects will move forward this summer.

The cabinet’s Andrea Clifford says the state is advertising for a contract for deck repairs on the Kennedy Bridge, but the work won’t begin until after Memorial Day.

“We’ll also be able to resume resurfacing and bridge deck work on Interstate-71 as you approach downtown Louisville. That project had to be postponed this fall because Interstate-71 was the detour route to I-65 during the closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge,” she said.

The cabinet suspended the work when the Sherman Minton Bridge was shut down by Governor Mitch Daniels when inspectors found a crack in a support beam.

It was reopened late Friday night after more than five months of repair work.

Local News Politics

Officials Announce Kentucky Speedway Traffic, Parking Improvements

By Stu Johnson, Kentucky Public Radio

The Kentucky Speedway and state government have announced a plan to alleviate traffic congestion at the track on major race days.

This summer’s inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup race was marred by a traffic jam and parking shortage that left thousands of motorists stranded for hours. Now, the track’s owner has purchased 143 acres for additional parking and hired professional parking and engineering services. Tim Bray with Kentucky Speedway says it’s a big step and should reduce race day stress.

“This goes a long way to making it better. I don’t know exactly how many parking spaces we’re gonna have available on the new parcel of land, but it’s gonna be significant,” he said.

Track officials estimate the improvements will expand event day parking by about 35 percent. The state will also improve highways around the northern Kentucky track. Among them is a three lane ramp southbound off I-71, widening a portion of state highway 35 and the construction of a pedestrian tunnel. Those improvements are expected to cost $3.6 million

Local News Politics

Officials Vow To Correct Speedway Traffic Problems

By Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

Two of Kentucky’s political leaders are looking for ways to fix the traffic problems that plagued the NASCAR Sprint Cup race last weekend.

Governor Steve Beshear called the weekend an overall success, but says changes need to be made so another traffic bottleneck and parking fiasco at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta doesn’t happen again.

“I’m going to put together, and am putting together right now, a team of transportation and tourism officials to sit down with the track officials and local officials there and figure out what things can be done. And we want to assist them in any way we can.”

State Senate President David Williams, who is running against Beshear in the fall general election, announced Monday that the legislature will also investigate the traffic problems. He said in a news release that legislative hearings surrounding “all aspects of the NASCAR race” will begin in September.

The Kentucky Speedway has apologized for the traffic and parking problems.