HARDIN – A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) plans to alter traffic flow at the U.S. 641/KY 402 intersection near Hardin in Marshall County starting Friday, June 4.

A work zone at the U.S. 641/KY 402 intersection is to allow construction of a Restricted Crossing U-Turn Intersection (R-Cut) to replace the existing intersection and traffic signal. The contractor plans to shift traffic to the R-Cut median crossovers to allow curb and gutter work in the middle of the intersection to create what will eventually be turn lanes for north-south traffic on U.S. 641.

Starting Friday, the existing traffic signal at this intersection will cease operation. Motorists traveling north and south on U.S. 641 will temporarily use the R-Cut crossover U-turns to make left turns to return to KY 402. Motorists traveling on KY 402/Brewers Highway who wish to travel through the intersection will make a right turn onto U.S. 641, then use the median R-Cut crossover U-turns to connect with the other side of KY 402/Brewers Highway.

The U.S. 641/KY 402 intersection is at Marshall County U.S. 641 mile point 1.224 and KY 402 mile point 8.076 near Hardin. Approximately 11,500 vehicles travel through this intersection in an average day.

Motorists should be alert for changes in traffic flow this shift will bring to the intersection. Motorists should continue to use appropriate caution due to ongoing construction activity in the median. This work zone has a strict 45 mile per hour speed limit with an enhanced police presence.

A Restricted Crossing U-Turn restricts left turns, then directs traffic to a dedicated turn lane with a modified U-turn or R-Cut. The feature allows drivers to divide the decision to navigate through the intersection into several smaller decisions.

“An R-Cut reduces the 36 identifiable intersection conflict points by half,” KYYC said. “It also eliminates movements that create opportunities for more serious crashes. R-Cut installations have reduced crashes by up to 54%.”

Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers is the prime contractor on this $1,196,823 Highway Safety Improvement Project. The target completion date is Aug. 15, 2021.

KYTC District 1 has one R-Cut completed as part of the KY 80 Mayfield South Bypass at Central Road in Graves County. KYTC District 1 engineers expect to have seven R-Cuts completed and in operation by the end of this year.

For more information on how an R-Cut works, visit www.US45Safety.org or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzpdTdXDfRw.