Neighbors hopeful for traffic relief at I-264 and US 42 - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Neighbors hopeful for traffic relief at I-264 and US 42

Thursday night hundreds of neighbors showed up to give their opinion on three options for a new interchange in the area. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Thursday night hundreds of neighbors showed up to give their opinion on three options for a new interchange in the area. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Option #1 is the Single Point Urban Interchange, better known as the SPUI. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Option #1 is the Single Point Urban Interchange, better known as the SPUI. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Option #2 is the Diverging Diamond. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Option #2 is the Diverging Diamond. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Option #3 is the Flyover. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Option #3 is the Flyover. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One big mess? Or relief from stress? The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is hoping it's the latter when it comes to interchange improvements coming to the Watterson Expressway at U.S. Highway 42.

Thursday night hundreds of neighbors showed up to give their opinion on three options for a new interchange in the area in the hopes of making their time in the car a little less painful.

Neighbor Bruce Wiggins said of the opportunity, "It's time that they decided to do something to correct the problems that they have now."

KYTC officials pointed out the traffic improvements will help the new VA Hospital, but maintains the improvements were already planned to ease congestion in the heavily traveled area.

"The VA Hospital whether or not it's built," said KYTC's Andrea Clifford, "We will continue to move forward with our project."

The three options work alongside the widening of Interstate 264/Watterson Expressway. Two lanes will become three on both sides from Westport Road to Interstate 71. That's great news for Windy Hills neighbors like Eric and Linda Fernandez because that means more sound barrier walls.

The couple brought a photo showing a huge semi truck tire that flew into their backyard and landed on a neighbors home to the meeting. A church playground is just a few doors down. They want the wall not just for noise, but for safety.

"The families are on the playground while their other kids are practicing their sports (nearby) so from a safety perspective," Linda Fernandez said of the incident. “It really surprised us that they (KYTC) stopped the wall right before they got to the church."

As for the three interchange options:

Option #1 is the Single Point Urban Interchange, better known as the SPUI. It's just like the interchange at the Watterson Expressway and Poplar Level Road. Clifford explained it has coordinated signals that manage the ramp's traffic flow.

Option #2 is the Diverging Diamond. Developed in Europe there aren't that many in the United States, however there is one in Lexington. Traffic crosses over in a diamond pattern without lights for left hand turns. In its first year in Lexington, there were 40 percent fewer accidents and 72 percent of drivers surveyed said the design was a good solution.

Option #3 is the Flyover. That's the pattern at the Watterson and Shelbyville Road near the malls where a flyover ramp keeps drivers from sitting at a light waiting for a left turn arrow.

Public input will be taken for the three exchange options until August 8. The input will be combined with engineering judgment to decide which option the transportation cabinet uses.

Construction would not begin until 2018.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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