Some usual routes are changing, possibly creating slower travel times for you. It's part of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinets Interstate 69 upgrades which Gov. Matt Bevin says is a "catalyst for future economic development."
Starting Wednesday at 6:30 a.m., KY 80 when it goes over the Purchase Parkway will shut down for four months. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Spokesman Keith Todd says without traffic it will allow them to replace the current overpass more quickly, a promise homeowners hope is kept.
The on and off ramps at the Mayfield-Fancy Farm exit will stay open, but the road connecting Exit 22 is shutting down.
“A slow and go is what we are anticipating. I'm sure during some peak travel. There may be some backup,” Todd said.
Todd says the first two days of construction will be spend demolishing KY 80 and shutting down the Purchase Parkway underneath.
“After that, the overpass in the middle of the interchange will be gone,” Todd said.
Crews will replace it with a new one that is higher and up to current interstate standards.
Tonia Montgomery lives on the Fancy Farm side of the overpass. As a Mayfield Independent Schools employee, she worries for herself and neighbors that construction will take longer than projected.
“If they get it done in 4 months, that's great, but if they don't then I would rather have the half and half,” Montgomery said.
Google Maps says a detour using Exit 21 is an extra 4 minutes, but Montgomery feels it may take longer.
“Especially early in the morning, and then especially later in the afternoon when school lets out...It's going to be kind of funny to see how late the buses are going to get there, if they're going to have to leave earlier, if the kids are going to have to get up earlier,” Montgomery said.
Todd says the contractor will face a significant penalty if it takes longer than July 1st for the overpass.
The next step is to work on U.S. 45-Bypass/Purchase Parkway interchange
Eventually the ramps like the one you take toward Fulton will have two lanes. It will look like the rendering, we’ve attached in this web article. Todd says it will allow you to stay driving at 70 miles an hour instead of slowing down to continue toward Fulton.
Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers is the prime contractor on the $24.1 million reconstruction project aimed at bringing the existing interchanges up to current standards for Interstate 69. It has a target completion date of July 1, 2018.
The project area includes a 55 mile per hour work zone speed limit with an enhanced enforcement presence.
I-69 upgrades also started Monday for the reconstruction of I-24 and the Purchase Parkway Exchange at Calvert City. The green highway line on a rendering we’ve attached shows a transition from the east leg of the existing interchange to the south leg of the interchange allowing for full flow traffic.
The $37.8 million project is expected to finish in July of 2018.
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