PADUCAH – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said traffic has been mostly well-handled so far on Paducah’s U.S. 60, where a major construction project closed the Interstate 24 entry and exit ramps at Exit 4 on Monday.
The KYTC said entry and exit ramps at the I-24/U.S. 60 Paducah Exit 4 interchange near the Kentucky Oaks Mall closed Monday morning to allow ongoing construction of a new double crossover diamond (DCD) and other improvements along U.S. 60. Ramps connecting I-24 and U.S. 60 at the Exit 4 interchange are expected to remain closed for up to five weeks.
KYTC spokesman Keith Todd attributed the relatively smooth transition to local commuters who helped reduce traffic congestion along the marked detour by spreading out and using several alternate routes.
Through the day, KYTC personnel carefully monitored traffic flow along the marked detour via the I-24/KY 305 Paducah Exit 3 interchange, he said. Signal technicians have been on site around the Exit 3 interchange to tweak signal phasing in response to changing traffic loads during peak commuter hours.
During the day, backups occurred from time to time along U.S. 60 within the Exit 4 interchange where traffic signals have been disabled. Motorists were continuing to stop at the signals, which Todd said is the appropriate thing to do when you encounter a dead signal. The traffic signals along U.S. 60 at the ramp ends will be taken out tonight, reducing the likelihood of backups.
Technicians also adjusted signals around I-24/US 45/US 62 Paducah Exit 7, where traffic flow increased as many local commuters chose to self-detour through that interchange instead of using the marked detour.
KYTC engineers and technicians will continue to monitor traffic flow along the detour route and make appropriate adjustments when required.
With the Exit 4 ramps closed, motorists should follow a marked detour via the I-24/KY 305 Paducah Exit 3 interchange. Drivers seeking to connect to U.S. 60 East into Paducah and to access businesses on the Paducah side of I-24 Exit 4 have a marked detour via Charter Oak Drive and Coleman Road. Drivers seeking to connect to U.S. 60 West and businesses near the west side of the Exit 4 interchange near Kentucky Oaks Mall should follow a marked detour via KY 998/Olivet Church Road and New Holt Road.
KYTC engineers have encouraged local commuters who travel to and from the area to consider alternate routes to help reduce traffic congestion along the official marked detour.
Message boards are placed at Wickliffe advising through traffic traveling into Paducah from the U.S. 51 Ohio River “Cairo” Bridge to use KY 286 and U.S. 62 to connect to I-24 at Exit 7. Extra detour signage and message boards have been placed around Paducah to help local traffic access Exit 7.
The KYTC will provide timely notice when night closures of U.S. 60 start sometime around July 22. Traffic on U.S. 60 is expected to move to the new DCD configuration after the first couple of nights of paving.
The contractor is required to reopen U.S. 60 and the ramps at the Paducah Exit 4 interchange by Aug. 12, 2019, when the DCD is expected to be substantially complete.
Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers is the prime contractor on this $9,179,425 DCD construction project. The target completion date is Nov. 20, 2019.