Construction on one phase of the Dixie Avenue project in Elizabethtown is winding down.
The section between Ring Road and U.S. 31W Bypass, phase II of the $13.54-million U.S. 31W Reconstruction Project, is slated for completion at the end of this month, according to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 4 spokesman Chris Jessie.
He said that phase includes the bypass intersection.
Phase III of the project consists of the section between the bypass and St. John Road.
Jessie said the project was divided to reduce both traffic disruptions and complications for area businesses.
“We have to maintain access to every business down through there as best as we can,” he said. “You can’t do that through five or six miles, but you can micromanage it into smaller chunks.”
In addition to road resurfacing, the project includes the construction of several Reduced Conflict U-Turns. Between 2013 and 2017, the transportation cabinet said there were 2,248 collisions recorded within the project area, including nine fatalities and 413 injury crashes. Jessie said using the RCUTs will improve safety.
“Part of the design is to prohibit people from making movements that cause crashes,” he said. “We have more traffic, we have more distractions; driving today is just different than it was 20 or 30 years ago.”
He said the RCUTs force drivers to make right turns, join the flow of traffic and get to a safe place to turn around instead of trying to cross multiple lanes of traffic to turn left.
RCUTs are being implemented all over the world, Jessie said.
“This is not an Elizabethtown thing, a Hardin County thing or a Kentucky thing,” he said. “This is a modern-way-of-designing-traffic thing.”
In June, supply chain issues, specifically concrete shortages, forced scheduling modifications to the project.
“We allowed the contractor to work around the [shortage] by extending the project further to the south and starting work down toward the hospital,” Jessie said. “Originally, that was not the idea, but with the concrete shortage, they were going to be sitting and doing nothing if we had to wait on concrete a lot.”
He said recent weather had put progress slightly behind.
“Even if it doesn’t rain all day, they can’t go out there and start pouring concrete with the threat of rain, especially heavy rain,” he said. “The weather has really affected the schedule, but we’re still on pace, and it’s looking like we’re going to get paving work finished by the end of this construction season.”
He said the contractor, Louisville Paving Co., has a deadline of Dec. 5.
“If we don’t get done with anything this year, it’s probably going to be the touch-up type stuff like sidewalk work and seeding of grassy areas,” Jessie said.
Seth Dukes can be reached at 270-505-1413 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.