Double crossover diamond aimed to alleviate traffic congestion at exit 4

A growing population may mean construction changes to one of the busiest areas in Paducah. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is planning on building a double crossover diamond at exit 4 near the mall area. KYTC held a presentation Tuesday night about the project at McCracken County High School.

Up to 36,000 cars and trucks travel there every day. Carol Ann Narozniak and her husband live right off exit 4 in Paducah, and say it’s a mess.

“This is a great. Very, very happy about this,” Narozniak said.

An animation which you can watch by clicking here, shows how the crossover diamond interchange would work. It’s aimed to improve safety and relieve traffic congestion.

District 1 Chief Engineer Michael McGregor says the interchange design reconfigures existing pavement without touching the I-24 bridges.

“We cut down on a lot of the left turn movement stacking up and getting up into the main line of U.S. 60,” McGregor said.

He says that’s the main source of wrecks. There have been 354 wrecks at exit 4 from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 21, 2015. Nearly 60 percent of those were rear-end crashes.

Kentucky Oaks Mall Marketing Director Candice Freeland says anything to stop traffic congestion is welcome.

“Although it takes time and there will probably be a little confusion in terms of exactly who is supposed to go where in the beginning, I think in the end it will be a great thing,” Freeland said.

The meeting offered lots of visual aids to explain the concept. People even got a chance to drive through the interchange using a virtual simulator that lets you see what it would actually look like.

If nothing changes in the state budget, the right of way and utilities phase would start this year. Then construction would begin in 2017 and cost about $4.3 million.

The only other double crossover diamond interchange in Kentucky is in Lexington. Since that one was built, crashes have dropped by 40 percent.

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