Drivers navigate road construction on New Circle Road
From New Circle Road widening and bridge replacement to interstate resurfacing to sidewalk repairs, some city and state summer projects may require Lexington drivers to change their routes or put up with travel disruptions.
Natasha Lacy, public information officer with Transportation Cabinet District 7, said every state project offers drivers alternate routes and marked detours if a road is closed.
Even for major roads such as New Circle, Lacy said there are back roads people can use to avoid construction. Motorists are usually happier taking alternate routes than going through construction, she said. So far, she said, there have not been reports of major congestion or traffic in work areas.
To try to minimize traffic backups, state and city projects often require contractors to work at night if temperatures, visibility and other conditions allow. To help themselves, drivers can check for updated alternate routes posted on the state Transportation Cabinet Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kytc120/; use navigation apps like WAZE that show construction and alternate routes; and follow Lexington’s Traffic Management Center at https://www.lexingtonky.gov/trafficreport/WeekdayTrafficTicker.htm and https://twitter.com/lexwrecks to stay up-to-date on scheduled road closings and traffic issues.
Jeffrey Neal, Lexington’s director of the Division of Traffic Engineering, said the city can’t greatly limit work times for construction or shut down a road to get work done more quickly.
“At the end of the day the works gotta get done,” Neal said.
Here are the major Lexington and Central Kentucky projects starting or continuing through the summer with details provided by Lacy and Neal.
State construction projects
New Circle Road widening, Georgetown Road bridge
This 1.3-mile overhaul began on May 21 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. New Circle will be widened between Georgetown Road and Boardwalk, the Georgetown Road bridge over New Circle will be replaced and exit ramps at the Georgetown Road bridge will be improved.
This summer, work is concentrated at the Georgetown interchange with some utility work around New Circle to prepare for the widening project. Additionally, the Georgetown Road bridge is being demolished and replaced with a new structure. The demolition will happen in two phases to allow lanes to stay open on Georgetown Road.
On Thursday and Friday plus and June 24-28, construction workers will be conducting blasting operations for bridge demolition between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. from Georgetown Road to Newtown Pike. There will be about two or three blasts each day.
Drivers should expect traffic to stop for up to 20 minutes per blast.
The entire New Circle project began in 2018 with the reconstruction of the bridge and interchange at Newtown Pike. Work to come includes the reconstruction of the Lexmark bridge, which will include a driving lane in each direction and a path for the Legacy Trail over New Circle. There will also be a new roundabout constructed in front of Lexmark’s main entrance.
The entire project is expected to improve safety and traffic flow. The work will cost about $41.8 million. Some construction will be done at night.
Malabu Drive bridge repair
The Malabu Drive bridge over Branch Hickman Creek, at the intersection of Tates Creek Road, is being redone.
This project, which began on May 7, is slated to end in August. The work, which cost about $526,000, also includes reinforcing the bridge for emergency vehicles and school buses to use.
Highway cable barrier in Fayette, Scott, Woodford
A safety barrier of steel wire ropes mounted on posts will be installed in the median of Interstate 64 in Fayette, Scott and Woodford counties, roughly from the U.S. 62 Versailles/Midway exit to the Interstate 75 north exit in Lexington.
The $1.2 million project was announced on May 10 and is expected to end by Aug. 30. The highway cable barriers, often known as guard cables or wire-rope safety barriers, are expected to prevent median-crossover collisions; reduce fatalities and significant injuries; and decrease crash costs.
I-75 interchange reconstruction Madison County
The Interstate 75 exit to Boonesborough Road in Richmond is being reconstructed in $13.7 million project. The work began in April and is expected to be completed by the end of August 2020. Boonesbough’s nearby intersection with Colonel/Simpson Road will be relocated about 800 feet.
On Boonesborough Road, the number of lanes will be increased with a paved shoulder to accommodate pedestrians and bicycles.
The goal is to improve safety and reduce congestion on the bridge over I-75. Lanes will be added to the exit ramps to accommodate traffic.
I-75 resurfacing project
Resurfacing of the northbound lanes in Fayette County began June 10 and is expected to be completed by July 31.
Alternating lane closures will be in effect for about 10 miles between Iron Works Pike exit and Winchester Road exit. This project is expected to cost almost $7.5 million.
Work is scheduled from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday but may be extended pending weather conditions. During hours of work, I-75 may be reduced to one lane.
City construction projects
Trenches have been opened on busy High Street in downtown Lexington as part of a project that replaces electric lines in the downtown area.
One or more lanes of High Street will be periodically closed for overhead electric transmission work. Work previously occurred on Rose, Main and Vine streets and Elm Tree Lane.
The expected completion date is between October and November. Construction has been done at night on weekdays, but some parts of the project must be done during the day.
The Legacy Trail will be connected to the Issac Murphy Memorial Art Garden at 3rd Street and Midland Avenue. The project, set to begin in August, will create an enhanced bike lane and sidewalk. The new 1.5-mile portion will follow 3rd and 4th streets before winding up to meet established trail at Loudon Avenue.
Reconstruction of Edgelawn Avenue
A portion of Edgelawn Avenue, from the intersection with Bluegrass Avenue to the end of the road, will be reconstructed with new curb and gutters, sidewalk and sanitary and storm sewers. The work is expected to begin in June. The price of the project is about $970,000.
Polo Club Boulevard extension to Todds Road
This project is intended to extend Polo Club Road across Deer Haven Lane southward to Todds Road. The project includes storm sewers, sidewalks and bike lanes. This project is tentatively expected to begin in August. The final cost of the project hasn’t been released.