Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 3
It’s been a historic year already just in the first few months of 2019 for transportation in the region. The official signing of the newly designated Interstate 165 is underway. All the temporary overlay signage is complete including the new exit numbers and mile points. The new permanent signing will be installed over the next several months. The signing takes place less than three years after Gov. Matt Bevin and US Rep. Brett Guthrie announced that the William H. Natcher Parkway would be upgraded to an interstate spur. A “Signs of Progress” event was held in March in Bowling Green with Gov. Bevin, along with Kentucky Transportation Secretary Greg Thomas, other state, local and federal officials.
Safety improvements to I-165 as a result of the upgrade to an interstate are ongoing. Motorists should be aware of heavy construction and lane closures between the US 31-W exit and the US 68 Russellville Road exit. During peak morning and afternoon travel times folks should expect some delays. The safety improvements are extending the ramps so the distance motorists have to merge is much longer. The bridge walls and decks were also upgraded. The work is scheduled to be completed this summer. There are three of the old toll booth plaza interchanges that will need to be reconstructed as result of the interstate upgrade. These interchanges will be reconstructed to common “diamond” interchange model to make the interchanges much safer. No construction timeline on these is available yet.
As we get further into spring and summer more construction will come around. There will be several major resurfacing projects in the Bowling Green/Warren County area. More information will be provided as details become available.
City of Bowling Green Public Works
The second phase of the Smallhouse Road widening project, which includes widening to 3 lanes from Highland Way to Ridgecrest Way, as well as an 8-foot multi-use path on one side of the roadway, began in August. All storm sewer, utility, and curb and gutter work has been completed. The multi-use path is nearing completion. The project is anticipated to be complete in May 2019.
Another roadway widening project is along McLellan Road, which began in March 2019. This includes the addition of a third lane to address increased traffic due to new development along the corridor and increase motorist safety. The project will wrap up in May.
The City’s Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Paving contract began in the fall. The contract includes paving approximately 18 miles of city streets, various roadway repairs and upgrades to numerous sidewalk handicap ramps. Paving has resumed this spring with the warmer weather and will be complete in June.
Design work is wrapping up on the new traffic signal at the intersection of Dishman Lane and Industrial Drive. The installation will help improve traffic congestion and safety at this location, as well as address pedestrian crossing needs. Construction will begin this spring.
The City has completed design plans for improvements to and around the Downtown Fountain Square. Improvements include safety upgrades to pedestrian movement adjacent to the square as well as lighting and aesthetic improvements to sidewalks and alleys near the downtown. Construction began on the alleys in March which include decorative lighting, improved travel ways and handicap accessibility. Work will continue through the fall to complete other improvement nearer the square with respect to traffic flow.
The City is committed to providing a walkable community and therefore the City allocates funds to build new sidewalk in areas that show a need. Each fiscal year, the Bowling Green City Commission assigns approximately $500,000 to the City’s Sidewalk Construction Program, with the purpose of identifying locations and constructing sidewalks in areas where none currently exist. Construction bids were recently received for new sidewalk along sections of Park St., Kenton St., Magnolia St., and North Lee Drive. However, the bids were rejected due to being over budget. As a result these projects will be rebid in early 2019. Additionally, sections of Sandra St. and Potter Ave. will receive new sidewalk in early 2019. Once complete, these six locations combined will add approximately 6,500 feet to the City’s sidewalk network.
The Public Works Department continues to work with the City’s Neighborhood & Community Services Department to provide better connections through the Census Tract 112 in the west end of Bowling Green. Some of these improvements will be along portions of: North Lee Dr., Crewdson Dr., North Sunrise Dr., Woodway St., Cove Dr., and Old Barren River Rd. Construction has recently started with the Woodway St. sidewalk already being completed. This sidewalk project coincides with a Transportation Improvement Program (TAP) grant awarded to the City in conjunction with the Greenways Commission. Design is underway for various improvements on the West End that focus on safe pedestrian and bicycle routes. The project(s) will provide connections between existing downtown greenways facilities, key destinations in the West End, and will ultimately improve problematic intersection crossings.
American Engineers was recently awarded the design contract for the Shive Lane Widening and Roundabout project. The goal of this project is to improve traffic and pedestrian safety by adding a center turn lane to Shive Lane between Scottsville Rd. and Ken Bale Boulevard. Additionally, construction of a single lane roundabout is proposed at the intersection with Ken Bale Blvd. to reduce morning and afternoon peak delays. A five foot wide sidewalk is also proposed along the north side of Shive Lane for the entire length of the project. Final design was completed in December 2018. Property acquisition for new right-of-way and easements is currently underway and construction is expected to start Spring 2019.
With the recent success of the roundabout at University Blvd. and 31W Bypass, City staff have evaluated locations where traffic flow could be improved with the installation of small roundabouts in residential areas. Based on this evaluation, the City recently awarded a contract to Cannon & Cannon for the design of mini-roundabouts at the intersections of Parkside Dr. / Cove Drive, N. Sunrise Dr. / Woodway St. / Cove Drive, and Crossings Blvd. / Chasefield Avenue. Given the constraints at these locations, it is anticipated these roundabouts will incorporate mountable splitter and central islands in order to accommodate busses and large trucks. Design is ongoing with construction scheduled to begin Spring 2019.
In October 2018, the Bowling Green City Commission and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet entered into a Memorandum of Agreement for KYTC to fund, on a reimbursement basis, the design, right-of-way acquisition, and utility relocation for a portion of the originally planned Southwest Parkway and an associated connector roadway that will tie to Kobe Way in the Southcentral Kentucky Industrial Park. The major goals of this project are to promote economic development and improve traffic flow within the industrial park. American Engineers was recently awarded the design contract for this project and they are currently performing preliminary survey and design activities. Roadway design, property acquisition, and utility relocation are anticipated to take most of 2019 to complete. Construction is currently expected to begin in late 2019.