I-75 improvement in Kentucky

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I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby Grimley1968 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:49 pm

I can almost sense the middle fingers thrust at all Kentuckians by out of state I-75 travelers in the southern third of the state, where I-75 (for the most part) drops from 3 lanes in each direction to 2. This has been a traffic bottleneck for years, and actually has caused many accidents as well. Not sure if road planners realized it doesn't matter how rural this area is; lots of people from a huge swath of the country (and Canada) still drive it to get through our state.

Good news! I saw on the local news last night that the state (well, a contractor for the state) is finally going to start, in March, 3-laning the primary bottleneck from mile marker 69 (where the 3 lanes reduce to 2 lane) all the way down to mile marker 52 (where 3 lanes resume near the town of London, KY). It's supposed to be done in phases starting north and moving south.

Hopefully this will get you northerners down to WDW/USO/Legoland, or wherever is still a fun place, a few minutes quicker (and me headed north as well). Hopefully, the bottlenecks and accidents fade when this is done. This is precisely the area that was so disastrously and infamously handled in that snowstorm in early 2016.
John
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby larryz » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:37 pm

Yay! Thanks for the head's up!
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby Grimley1968 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:08 am

Please limit bird flips to 1 only in my direction when they narrow it down to 1 lane while widening to 3. :lol:
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby bcrook » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:17 pm

Grimley1968 wrote:Please limit bird flips to 1 only in my direction when they narrow it down to 1 lane while widening to 3. :lol:


Yes. This will be a problem. But at least I know. Thank you.
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby bcrook » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:21 pm

Every time I wander that direction, I stop at Cumberland Falls. I've stayed in the lodge 3 times and I've seen a moonbow. I like it there.
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby Grimley1968 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:54 pm

bcrook wrote:Every time I wander that direction, I stop at Cumberland Falls. I've stayed in the lodge 3 times and I've seen a moonbow. I like it there.

When I was an active pilot I used to fly over the falls all the time. Stunning beauty. It takes about 10 minutes to fly there from here in a Cessna 152 or 172 but about 70 minutes to drive it and the road is horrible. Worth it every trip though.

I love DuPont Lodge but my opinion is that it was a guilt concession from the DuPont Corp. for the abuse of our lands (and people) to obtain coal and lumber in the early 1900's.
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby Grimley1968 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:25 am

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I was finally on the section of I-75 that is covered by the first phase of this work, on Friday. It runs from about MM 69 to about MM 64. At this point, the only inconveniences are a drop in speed limit to 55, a lane shift to the right in both directions, slightly narrower lanes, and basically no right shoulder. The roadway itself was widened years ago, so no blasting has to be done now. So far there are no lane closures. They're already grading and laying some road surface. If there are any lane closures, it will probably be when the surface is done and they need to re-stripe it, but that can be done overnight and probably for a short time, as short as this section is. They have not begun on the other phases from MM 64 down to about MM 52, but they will probably be done in the same relatively low impact fashion. I never did hear of any major backups in this area during spring break.

Except that it's costing more money to come back and add a lane to the previously widened roadway (they should have added the 3rd lane at the time the roadway was widened - it would have cost less), this project seems to be inconveniencing drivers only a little for a long-term fantastic improvement. This section of I-75 is one of the longest stretches of 2-lane (in each direction) still remaining in Kentucky (and possibly Tennessee).
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby larryz » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:57 pm

Aha. "Improvement" in the Disney sense of the word: "Let's screw it up for everyone for a couple of years only to leave it like we should have left it 5 years ago."
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby Grimley1968 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:17 pm

This section badly needs to be 6-laned. It'll be done this fall.
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby Grimley1968 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:09 am

A little update for anyone driving this section soon for vacations: this section still looks like it will be done by later this summer or fall. They've graded all of it, have the rock filled in most of it and are pouring asphalt/paving on some parts of it. There are only a couple of overpasses in this area (very rural area) but those appear to be the most difficult items for them to redo. There are no long-term single lane situations, but they do close a lane down for an hour or so sometimes for easier heavy equipment access. I experienced this last evening about 8:30, with single-lane for about 1 mile on the southbound side. I hardly had to slow down. They seem to keep both lanes open during busier hours (so far).

The next section's work has not begun yet, but I expect that will begin as soon as the current section's 3 lanes each way are opened. As of now there's still no need to take any detours. I-75 is still the best way to get through Kentucky for those traveling to Florida, IMO, especially after all this work is done.
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby Grimley1968 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:30 pm

As of now, or any day now, this section is completed. Now all of the most heavily traveled sections of I-75 in Kentucky (when local traffic is included) are 3-laned. There is another section that will begin now, from where this section ended, down about another 7 or 8 miles to a previously 3-laned section. This will be about the same length of road as the section just finished, but should see fewer jams when lanes have to be narrowed, etc., with much less local traffic than the current section.
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby larryz » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:14 pm

Grimley1968 wrote:As of now, or any day now, this section is completed. Now all of the most heavily traveled sections of I-75 in Kentucky (when local traffic is included) are 3-laned. There is another section that will begin now, from where this section ended, down about another 7 or 8 miles to a previously 3-laned section. This will be about the same length of road as the section just finished, but should see fewer jams when lanes have to be narrowed, etc., with much less local traffic than the current section.

Yay! Thanks for the head's up. Now looking like we're thinking about a trip down next Sep/Oct for F&W...
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby Grimley1968 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:08 am

larryz wrote:Yay! Thanks for the head's up. Now looking like we're thinking about a trip down next Sep/Oct for F&W...


Unfortunately I-75 in and around Knoxville blows, and it apparently always will. We almost missed our flight out of the Knoxville airport down to Florida a couple of weeks ago because the I-75 interchange with the Alcoa Highway was so backed up. We never saw a wreck, construction, closed lanes or anything. Just sheer bad road design. The fact that I-75 jogs all the way east to Knoxville, instead of just going due south from Cincy straight to Chattanooga, has always bothered me. Knoxville already had I-40, so it wasn't isolated. It adds to people's drive time who wish to drive down to Florida from the north on I-75, is a mess, and was done more for political considerations than practical driving considerations.

Rant over. :oops:
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Re: I-75 improvement in Kentucky

Postby Grimley1968 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:24 pm

Apparently I spoke too soon. I was on this stretch on Friday and it was almost a freaking parking lot. They still have the right most lane and shoulder to pave and were still doing some last minute grading before the paving. It still should only be a few days, but I'm perturbed that they're running out of warm days to put the asphalt down and they seemed in no hurry whatsoever on Friday, while traffic was going by at about 15 MPH. :x
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