Traveling the mile-long stretch of Cooper Drive from Nicholasville Road to Tates Creek at rush hour? Expect the average speed to be close to 0 mph.
Cooper Drive is the main detour route for a parallel section of Alumni Drive, which will be closed for construction until the end of August. Just a few hours without Alumni Monday revealed traffic delays and woes ahead for drivers who travel backup streets.
Driving westbound on Monday at 5 p.m., traffic was heavy but moving on Cooper Drive, at least until it started to fill up with more rush-hour vehicles.
Eastbound traffic was almost at a standstill for the entire stretch. Many of the surrounding streets experienced heavier traffic as well. The intersection of University and Cooper drives was gridlocked around 5:45 p.m. Monday.
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Alumni Drive from Nicholasville Road to Tates Creek was closed Sunday to begin the University of Kentucky's realignment project. It won't reopen until the start of UK's football season.
The construction is designed to help calm traffic on Alumni Drive, which carries 18,000 to 20,000 vehicles a day, according to a UK news release.
Local access to The Arboretum, the Lexington Senior Center, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the other occupied buildings on Alumni Drive — a child care center and UK graduate housing — will be allowed during the project.
The $5 million project is financed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
■ Roundabouts at the intersections of College Way and University Drive that will replace stop signs.
■ Realignment of College Way to intersect with Commonwealth Court.
■ The addition of bicycle lanes.
■ A non-mountable median that will divide the two directions.
■ A multi-use path on the north side of Alumni Drive between Commonwealth Stadium and Tates Creek Road.
■ Left-turn lanes at the Arboretum and Blue Lot entrances.
■ Limited access to the Blue Lot near Commonwealth Stadium. However, traffic flow will change on game days.