Utility work signs and dirt piled several feet high comprise part of the scenery along Cardinal Drive and the end of Woodland Drive near its intersection with North Dixie Avenue.

It’s all part of the Cardinal Drive Project to widen the road and align the intersection with Diecks Drive. Chris Jessie, public information officer with Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Dis­trict 4, said the purchase of rights of way for land impacted by the widening and redirecting of the road have been completed.

Now, crews are working on locating and moving utilities, which he called an “intricate” process.

“They’re relocating utilities to prepare for road improvements,” he said.

Right-of-way negotiations and relocating utilities originally was estimated at a $2.5 million cost to the state. Jessie said that amount has not changed.

Jessie said bidding on the construction could take place in late winter or early spring. He said he could not release estimated construction costs.

Jessie said the relocation of Cardinal Drive will provide a smoother, more direct transition from Patriot Parkway to North Dixie Avenue.

Patriot, which is designated as Ky. 361, was a Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, project to provide an alternate route to U.S. 31W from Elizabethtown to Fort Knox.

Jessie said redeveloping Cardinal will improve traffic flow to 31W, where it would exit at the existing traffic light serving Diecks Drive. Exiting at the light, will allow for an easier transition of traffic from Patriot Parkway headed to Dixie, he said.

Rerouting Cardinal Drive to align with Diecks Drive will impact Hardin Memorial Hospital’s southern parking lot, according to HMH Assistant Vice President of Operations Steve White.

HMH expects to lose 60 to 80 spaces when the road is relocated between the hospital’s parking lot and PNC Bank.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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