Kentucky Transportation Cabinet urges caution around construction and traffic


Reporter - Briana Conner
Photographer - Jason Thomason

PADUCAH, Ky.— Bumper to bumper traffic is not something people expect to have to sit through very often in a community the size of Paducah, but the rehab work on 1-24 is causing slow downs and safety concerns.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has broken the work up into three 7-8 mile segments, but the one causing the most headache is the stretch between Exit 3 and Exit 7 where the road has been reduced to one lane. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet expects the project will to extend into the summer months, but there are ways to beat the back up.

"We all just gotta be patient out there," said Mark Madaris. He's from Birmingham, Alabama, and is no stranger to stalls on the interstate. Patience is a plea now being preached to Paducah drivers. "There's just a lot of work that needs to be done," said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Public Information Officer Keith Todd.

Crews are fixing bridges, drainage problems, and they'll eventually repave certain stretches of interstate. "That's all designed to allow this road to serve the public for another 15-20 years before they have to come back and do it again," said Todd.

About 42,000 cars roll through the stretch of interstate between Exit 3 through Exit 7 every day, and Todd said the drivers who can get around town without getting on the interstate should take the business loop or the beltline. "That takes traffic off the work zone and allows for the through traffic to move more efficiently, because there's less volume," Todd said.

If you can't avoid I-24 completely, Todd urges drivers to be careful in the work zones and remember that the final result will be better than what we've had before. Madaris said, "We need road work. We need to keep our roads safe. Just obey the laws, be safe, be patient, and let's get our roads fixed."