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Some say they won’t believe it until the see it, but the project to put turning lanes and a traffic signal at Ky. 155/55 and Normandy Road is being bid out in June, with an estimated project start date sometime in late July or August.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Public Information officer Andrea Clifford confirmed that the current Kentucky Highway Plan has $1.75 million allocated for construction. The planned improvements include adding a north and southbound left turn lane at the intersection, as well as a right-turn lane leading from southbound Ky. 155/55 to westbound Ky. 1169, also known as Normandy Road. The western leg of the intersection by the Dollar General Store will also be realigned “to reduce the offset of the intersection and align the two approaches of Ky. 1169 across from each other.” The project also includes what many have been begging for — a traffic signal, which will be a stop light, not a flashing caution light. Clifford said it has yet to be determined if the signal will have a protected left turn phase, meaning a dedicated left turn arrow with opposing traffic being stopped during that phase of the signal.
“KYTC will open bids in June for construction on this project. Work will most likely begin around late July,” Clifford wrote in an email.
Spencer County Judge Executive Bill Karrer said the project is by far the most requested by constituents.
“I would have to say that it’s moving in the right direction,” Karrer said of the project. “How fast could be a bone of contention. My position is when the first shovel of dirt flies, I’ll believe it’s going to happen.”
Karrer said the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency’s Regional Transportation Council once identified the project as the #1 unmet need in the area. He said he has heard motorists voice their concerns about the intersection since before he took office 3 1/2 years ago.
“We have lobbied, I have lobbied, my wife is probably the largest lobbier,” Karrer said.
Elk Creek Magistrate Jerry Davis said the intersection is a major concern and that many politicians have made promises in the past that the project was going to happen and then it did not.
“In the last couple of years it’s been a major concern,” Davis said. “I’ve had lots of people comment on it and say they just couldn’t wait for the light.”
KYTC Chief Engineer Matt Bullock told Fiscal Court in early May that he felt like the project would have an August start date.
“It’s funded, so there’s no problems there,” Bullock said.
In 2010, 987 citizens signed a petition asking for a traffic signal at the intersection, which, according to Spencer Magnet archives, helped jump-start numerous traffic studies that led to the current project.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Davis said.