New plans approved for I-69/Calvert City Interchange

Plans to improve traffic flow along a busy interstate in Western Kentucky.  Locals call it the ‘Calvert City Spur’, and it will stay as part of Governor Steve Beshear’s approved new plan for the I-69/ Calvert City Interchange.

The move is to comply with Federal Highway rules that require ‘route continuity’. Route continuity defined in the press release is, “traffic staying on a particular interstate route within the confines of an interchange must be able to do so seamlessly, with no loss of speed.

The major changes in the plan are removing the Fulton exit cloverleaf from I-24 Westbound and the ramp that carries traffic merging onto I-24 East/ I-69 North. The plan instead shows new ramps and fly-over ramps to I-69 and Calvert City. While we won’t see immediate construction here for a while, there will be some big changes.

Those in Calvert City say they’re just happy their voices were heard from the meetings leading up to these changes.

Gayle Hall with the Calvert City Community Advisory Team drives the Calvert City Interchange multiple times a day. He says, “There’s all kinds of things that this road gets.” He remembers the uproar when the original plans for the interchange improvements scrapped the high-traffic Calvert City spur. Hall says, “It was such a shock to everyone, you would hear it and think ‘they would surely never do that’.”

Hall says they took a sigh of relief when the final plans kept the spur and the two interchanges off of I-24 intact.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Spokesperson, Keith Todd says it’s another great step for the decades-long I-69 project. Todd says, “It’s nice to see things moving forward.” He says Calvert City should be the most pleased with the newest plans as it provides an extra outlet for Calvert City.

But as for pinning down a date when the new interchange improvements will be driveable – he says don’t hold your breath, “Ideally, and the emphasis is ideally, because there is still a lot to work out we would like to have folks driving on this in 2017.”

Todd told me the Highway Administration generally does not approve plans like these, but this plan is similar to the  I-57/I-55 Interchange in Sikeston.

While the plans were approved for the interchange, the state still has to field different bids for the project.

Todd says they’ll also use signage along the interchange plan to make it as simple as possible for travelers.

To see the map of the improvements, click here.

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