- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Houses are being uprooted along Rineyville Road as preparations for the Elizabethtown to Radcliff Connector move forward.
Bids will be awarded in April for construction on the 7.6-mile route designed to ease commuter traffic between two of Kentucky’s 15th largest cities.
When it’s finally read for cars late in 2013, it will be a four-lane span running from the U.S. 31W Bypass in Elizabethtown to Ky. 313 in Radcliff. The southern leg will follow run along an widened Rineyville Road and include a new interchange on the limited access bypass. After crossing Ring Road near Severns Valley Baptist Church, the connector will leave the established roadway just beyond Ceciliana Drive and head on a new alignment for 313, which is known as Joe Prather Highway.
Obviously, this is an important transportation component in Hardin County’s continued development and growth. For more than a quarter century when Ky. 447, which many of us still call Old 31W, was interrupted by the development of Towne Mall, most north-south traffic through the county has been funneled onto U.S. 31W, which we call the Dixie.
Some residents, particularly in the Rineyville area, adopted Ky. 1600 as an alternative. Other savvy travelers cut through on Shepherdsville Road by way of the Prather Highway or Battle Training Road. But the most of us get trapped in the traffic light bottlenecks and congestions.
That makes this Elizabethtown to Radcliff Connector project into a matter of keen interest. And that’s why I think it’s about time, this road gets a name.
Elizabethtown to Radcliff Connector is not a name at all. It’s a description.
The Highway Department, which sometimes refers to the road as E2RC, plays no role in the naming process, Chief District Engineer Patty Dunaway said. The state will assign the new road some number once its complete. But the naming is left up to local government and the Postal Service to resolve.
That’s why the portion of Ky. 1600 in Elizabethtown leading up to the bypass is Cardinal Drive and the next stretch is known as Rineyville Road.
It’s possible that to avoid confusion and readdressing residents along the existing path that the southern half of the connector could remain known as Rineyville Road. But the new stretch surely is too important only to be identified by a number.
My first thought: Not Dixie. After all, its primary purpose is taking traffic off U.S. 31W or the Dixie, which by the way is Dixie Boulevard in Radcliff, Dixie Avenue (north, west, east and south) in Elizabethtown and Dixie Highway further south.
Not Dixie is not much of a name, I admit. But follow closely for the insight into how my thought processes work.
Thinking back to the Civil War era when Dixie commonly referred to the South, what would Not Dixie mean? The North or a more exact parallel might be the Union. So if we have a Dixie Avenue, why not Union Avenue? Then, considering what’s happening with Hardin County United volunteers striving to map a single vision of our future as a community, the success of the One Knox effort and the recent decision to merge the county’s four Chambers of Commerce, a new thought arose. Rather than Union, the idea took shape as Unity Avenue.
After all, it is E2RC, a connector for Elizabethtown and Radcliff. As motorists drive back and forth, using Unity to link these vibrant cities seems an appropriate daily reminder that we are we, not us and them.
Ben Sheroan is editor of The News-Enterprise. He can be reached at email@example.com or (270) 505-1764.