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Median barrier installation begins

BY GENEVIEVE POSTLETHWAIT gpostlethwait@paducahsun.com

Starting today, an ongoing project to install median cable barriers will continue on the 7.84 mile stretch of U.S. 41-Alternate Interchange between Exit 86 and the Kentucky-Tennessee state line in Christian County. Installation should be complete by Labor Day.

According to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd, drivers traveling between western Kentucky and Nashville may experience shoulder and lane restrictions due to the installation.

"The contractor can actually do most of the work in the median, and quite a lot of the work that would impact traffic will be done at night," Todd said. "The project will have only a minimal affect on traffic."

Once work on the Christian County section nears completion, contractor George B. Stone Company, LLC will begin installing median cable barriers near Paducah along the stretch of I-24 between the Ohio River bridge in McCracken County and the Ky. 787 overpass in Marshall County. The contractor estimates work in McCracken and Marshall counties will begin in mid-August with an anticipated completion date of Nov. 1.

Locations selected for barrier installation are based on police crash reports.

According to the transportation cabinet, in the last four years there have been 13 fatal crashes on the 93 miles of I-24 through western Kentucky, five of which involved crossover collisions.  In comparison, heavily traveled interstates in Louisville and Jefferson County recorded 26 crossover fatality crashes in the roughly four-year period prior to barrier installation. Since installation, that number has dropped to one.

As work starts on the two sections, cabinet engineers remind motorists to be alert for shoulder and lane restrictions in the work zone, which will include a 55 mph speed limit with double fines and an enhanced enforcement presence.

Contact Genevieve Postlethwait, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or at gpostlethwait@paducahsun.com.

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