Motorists making left turns while crossing two dangerous intersections on U.S. 45 will take a different path toward their destinations once the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet finishes redesigns with the goal of improved safety.

During a public meeting, KYTC officials shared plans for the construction of R-cut connections at the U.S. 45 intersection with Ky. 408 in northern Graves County and the intersection with Ky. 1288 in southern McCracken County. R-cut connections require traffic on side roads to make right turns, then use a median turn lane to make a U-turn before turning right to go through the intersection.

According to KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat, R-cut features have been effective in reducing collisions at high-traffic intersections.

"Both of these intersections have an elevated crash rate," he said. "The R-cut design has a proven track record for reducing crashes similar to those we've seen at these two locations."

During project development, the design team reviewed five years of crash data from both sites.

The intersection at Ky. 408 north of Mayfield (near Fristoe's Grocery and Restaurant) has had 36 police-reported crashes that included seven angle crashes, 15 rear-end crashes, nine opposing left-turn crashes, two sideswipe crashes and three roadway runoffs with 10 total injuries.

The intersection at Ky. 1288 south of Lone Oak (near Buck Stop) had 19 police-reported crashes that included nine angle crashes, four rear-end crashes, two opposing left-turn crashes, three sideswipe crashes and one roadway runoff that included two fatalities and six injuries.

Poat noted that the R-cut intersections have shown to have almost no effect on traffic volume at intersections where the design has been used.

About 14,200 vehicles travel through each of the intersections on an average day.

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