Versailles Road work moves ahead, but businesses can't wait until it's over

clove@herald-leader.comJune 4, 2013 

Businesses along U.S. 60 are coping with traffic disruptions as Central Kentucky's biggest road project of the year continues into summer.

Reconstruction now involves almost all stretches of the busy highway connecting Lexington, Versailles and Frankfort.

Doughdaddy's doughnut shop in Woodford County is one of those affected. "We're probably down 40 percent," said Ed Farmer, general manager.

"Some people are going different routes," Farmer said, and an additional problem is that westbound traffic cannot turn left into his business.

Farmer did, however, praise the construction team on their communication and cooperation. He said they even posted signs telling people how to get to Doughdaddy's.

"Anything we have asked them to do they have," Farmer said. "Any problem we've had they've responded very quickly."

Doughdaddy's neighbor, Jack Kain Ford, is also feeling the effects of the construction.

"It has had a negative effect on our business," said Jack Kain of his dealership.

Kain estimates that business is down 20 to 25 percent.

"I think we would be naive to say it isn't affecting us," Kain said.

He is looking forward to the finished result, which will be a repaved highway from New Circle Road in Lexington to Versailles and on to the south side of Frankfort.

"They are doing a great job, and we will be pleased with it when it is completed."

A different change has occurred for the Marathon station across the highway from Doughdaddy's.

"Our side has picked up," Candy Murphy, a cashier at the station, said.

Murphy said that's because it is the only gas station on the right side of the road for westbound traffic.

"We won't get as much (business) when they switch lanes though," Murphy said.

Here is the construction schedule:

On May 31, delayed construction on the Versailles bypass finally started. Construction will limit traffic to two lanes on weekends only. The tentative completion date for the bypass is June 30.

The stretch of U.S. 60 from New Circle Road to Bluegrass Parkway in Woodford County is scheduled to be completed Dec.1. A traffic switch was scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday. All traffic was to be moved to what will eventually be eastbound lanes. Four lanes will remain open, including stretches in Lexington that are normally six lanes.

U.S. 60 from Versailles to the edge of Franklin County is scheduled to be completed Oct. 31. This stretch is now two lanes instead of the usual four.

Jim Woods, deputy director of traffic engineering for Lexington, said that problems are to be expected.

"You've got construction going on; obviously there are going to be delays," he said.

Woods said the Lexington traffic engineering department has done what it can with the signals along Versailles Road. Some of the worst traffic backups have been at signals such as those at the intersection of Versailles Road and Man o' War Boulevard near Blue Grass Airport and Keeneland. "We keep a monitor on it, when it's the appropriate time."

Cameron Love: (859) 231-1424. Twitter: @heraldleader

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