ASHLAND, Ky. – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will begin highway safety improvements this week at four Ashland-area intersections that are among the region’s highest crash rate locations.
Contractors expect to start improvements first at the US 23 and KY 693 (Diedrich Boulevard) intersection just north of Ashland in Greenup County and at the US 23 and Town Center Mall intersection in Ashland. Motorists should watch for daily lane closures and possible flagged traffic. Due to high traffic volumes, congestion and delays are likely.
Work will follow through May at two other downtown Ashland intersections – on US 23 (Winchester) at 12th and 13th streets, and on 12th Street (US 60) at Lexington Avenue.
Safety improvements at each location include:
US 23 at KY 693 (Diedrich): Hash markings on pavement called “cat tracks” to guide vehicles through turns; a better, more visible traffic island to separate turning traffic and thru traffic on US 23; larger intersection signage; updated traffic signals with dual reds, all-arrow lights, and reflective borders.
US 23 (Winchester) at Town Center: Pavement “cat tracks” to guide turning vehicles that are exiting mall roads; larger “do not turn” signs to prevent improper turns onto one-way streets; new sections of median barriers to prevent traffic conflicts.
US 23 (Winchester) at 12th/13th streets (bridges): Make the far right lane of US 23 approaching 12th Street a right-turn only lane, and maintain two thru lanes with additional roadway markings to better guide traffic through both intersections and reduce merging or lane conflicts; install lane separator posts in the center of US 23 north of 13th Street to prevent cross-traffic turning; pavement “cat tracks” to guide vehicles through turns; improved crosswalk markings.
12th Street (US 60) at Lexington Avenue: Eliminate a Midtown Shopping Center parking lot entrance just west of Lexington Avenue so that shopping center traffic entering 12th Street uses the signalized intersection at Lexington Avenue, reducing the risk of vehicles pulling out or turning in front of other vehicles; re-stripe and change 12th Street lane markings so that the far right lane approaching Lexington Avenue is right-turn only, the middle two lanes are for thru traffic only and the far left lane is for left turns at Lexington or for the turn around Speedway to access 13th Street.
The work is part of a $393,452 state project using federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) dollars. For the project, state highway engineers surveyed locations with the highest number of crashes in Kentucky Department of Highways District 9’s 10-county northeast Kentucky region, then designed changes that could create safer traffic flow and reduce future crashes.
The Transportation Cabinet awarded a low-bid contract to Bluegrass Contracting LLC of Lexington for work at the four Boyd and Greenup county locations and two additional locations in Rowan County. Project completion date is Oct. 31.
Road work schedules are subject to change depending on weather conditions. Motorists are asked to heed all warning signs, slow down in work zones and remain aware of workers and construction equipment when traveling.