By Craig Hoffman
(LOUISVILLE, May 25th, 2004, 6:30 p.m.) -- Long delays will soon be over for tens of thousands of drivers. After years of waiting, work is about to get under way on expanding Westport Road from Hubbard's Lane to Hurstbourne Parkway. Of course it won't happen overnight, but as WAVE 3's Craig Hoffman reports, for many it's finally a step in the right direction.
To say that moving in and out of traffic on Westport Road can be challenging is an understatement. More than 36,000 cars and trucks use the stretch of road from Hubbard's Lane in St. Matthews to Hurstbourne Parkway every day.
The idea of widening Westport Road to five lanes is not new -- it has been talked about for a long time, and for a long time that's all it has been -- talk. "I can't believe it's happening."
Officials tell us that by 2007, we'll see gradual changes over the four-mile stretch. Westport Road is the only way to get into the tiny city of Briarwood.
Longtime resident and Mayor Bill Vaughn has been keeping his fingers crossed for two decades. "Yes, it's a long wait -- it's a long wait to argue with them all the time, too. You ask to go talk to them, to see if they're going to do something and it just doesn't get done. Finally, I think it may get done."
Lyndon Mayor Susan Bartro hopes a new interchange at Watterson Expressway will make a huge difference. "I think it will help businesses because people will be able to get in and out easier, and therefore they may be more willing to shop at the businesses on Lyndon Lane."
Work on the first phase from the Watterson to Herr Lane will start in a few weeks. It will take 15 months to complete.
Maxwell Bailey, Kentucky's Transportation Secretary, agrees that the Westport Road widening project is long overdue.
It's certainly good news that this long awaited project is about to begin, but the bad news is that construction will no doubt cause delays, so allow extra time and patience in that area as work begins.
Residents wanting more information can get it July 14th at a public meeting being held at the public library branch at Westport Middle School.
Online Reporter: Craig Hoffman