Friday, July 17, 2015

Both Ky. 425 bypass ramps to parkway at Henderson now closed

Since a contractor closed the ramp connecting the Ky. 425 Henderson bypass with the northbound lanes of the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway at Henderson, a number of motorists have continued to take the southbound ramp and illegally cross through the median on the Pennyrile.  This has created a hazard to traffic on the Pennyrile and tied up law enforcement resources in this area.

To improve safety the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) has authorized the contractor to also close the Ky. 425 southbound ramp to the Pennyrile Parkway at Exit 76. This eliminates the hazard of vehicles illegally crossing through the median and eliminates the need for law enforcement at the site.

All eastbound traffic on the Ky. 425 Henderson bypass is now being diverted to U.S. 41 northbound or southbound.

Motorists seeking to travel south on the Pennyrile Parkway should now follow the marked detour southbound on U.S. 41 to the Ky. 416 Robards/Niagara interchange. Motorists traveling east on the bypass seeking to travel north on the Pennyrile Parkway should continue to follow the marked detour along U.S. 41 northbound to reach the Pennyrile Parkway northbound lanes.

According to KyTC spokesman Keith Todd, the bypass ramp to the southbound lanes of the Pennyrile had to be closed due to the number of vehicles taking that ramp, then making illegal U-turns to head back north on the Pennyrile.

“On Friday we had an incident where a semi had to swerve to avoid a passenger vehicle that was backing up in the passing lane of the Pennyrile to access a crossover,” Todd said.  “Stopping in a lane of a high-speed parkway is bad enough, but backing up into oncoming traffic that is running 70 mph shows a total disregard for your own safety and the safety of others. After analyzing the continuing issue, traffic engineers concluded the best approach to maintain safety for those traveling the Pennyrile would be to close the southbound ramp and redirect that traffic along U.S. 41 to the Ky. 416 interchange.”

The contractor has placed additional message boards and signage along Ky. 425 to direct motorists to and along the appropriate detour routes.

Ramps from the Pennyrile to the Ky. 425 bypass remain open in this work zone.

“This is a continuing issue of a few people endangering others in an effort to save a few seconds.  For someone heading from Ky. 425 northward toward the Twin Bridges, the detour along U.S. 41 added maybe 30 seconds of travel time,” Todd said.  “Closing the southbound ramp to the Pennyrile at this site will create an additional inconvenience, but it will help maintain the safety of those traveling along the Pennyrile at Exit 76.”

Todd also noted that motorists can be issued citations for disregarding “Road Closed” signs and other work zone traffic control devices.

Traffic on the bypass seeking to take the Audubon Parkway eastbound to Owensboro will be required to loop through the Ky. 351/Zion Road Interchange to access the Audubon via the Pennyrile Parkway southbound lanes.

Motorists who regularly travel the sections of U.S. 41 being used for the detour should be aware of increased traffic flow.

The closure of the bypass ramps to the Pennyrile Parkway at Henderson Exit 76 is to allow concrete rehabilitation work and diamond grinding along the northbound ramp. The ramps are expected to be closed to all traffic for about three weeks, weather permitting.