A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to open a section of KY 453/Iuka Road in Livingston County on Friday.
KY 453/Iuka Road has been closed for construction of a new box culvert at Echo Spring Creek and realignment of curves near the 14 mile marker between Coons Chapel Road and Smithland.
Once KY 453 has opened to traffic at the site, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to close KY 937/Cutoff Road starting promptly at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. KY 937/Cutoff Road will close at mile point 2.8. Engineers plan to replace a temporary culvert with a new permanent culvert just north of the KY 453 intersection.
During early morning hours of Thursday, July 7, floodwaters took out a 60 ft. long 8 X 13 ft. metal culvert and washed out the roadway on KY 937/Cutoff Road just north the intersection with KY 453/Iuka Road. At that time, KY 937/Cutoff Road was functioning as a detour for KY 453. The washout forced KY 937 to close, cutting a critical link. It forced Livingston County residents to take an extended detour through back roads, or around US 60 and I-24 through Ledbetter to travel between Smithland and Grand Rivers.
Engineers developed a plan to put in a temporary culvert, smaller than the original, to restore traffic quickly without having to wait 4 to 6 weeks for a new culvert to be manufactured. Now that KY 453 is reopening, engineers want to place a larger permanent culvert at the KY 937 location before another flash flood hits.
If you recall, about the time engineers restored KY 937 traffic with the temporary culvert arrangement, they also found structural issues with the Lee Creek Bridge near the north end of KY 937 just off US 60. With help from a temporary bridge provided by Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers, engineers were able to reopen KY 937 at that site in time for school bus traffic at the start of the school year.
Once KY 453 reopens on Friday, work to install the permanent culvert on KY 937 is expected to start promptly at 4:30 p.m., after the last school bus run of the day. If all goes as planned, KY 937/Cutoff Road is expected to reopen to traffic late Saturday afternoon.
KY 937/Cutoff road normally carries about 1,400 vehicles in an average day. With the added traffic from the KY 453 detour, it has been carrying slightly more than double that. Once KY 937 closes on Friday, all of that traffic will move to KY 453.