Spaghetti Junction keeps on causing headaches for semi drivers

KYTC reviewing improvements to Spaghetti Junction

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Another semi crash snarled traffic for hours Friday in Spaghetti Junction. It happened two days after a truck hauling pigs overturned, blocking traffic for eight hours and killing more than 100 hogs.

Spaghetti Junction was redesigned and "untangled’ during the recent Ohio River Bridges Project in 2016. But, even officials say it’s still a work in progress. Right now, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is waiting to hear back from the Federal Highway Administration about another round of improvements they think might help drivers better predict what is ahead of them.

A tangle of three different interstates can often be a recipe for disaster.

“There’s just a lot of different movements, a lot of different signs that you have to pay attention to that you’re going to get the correct ramp that you want to go on,” KYTC Spokesperson Andrea Clifford explained.

Some of the solutions KYTC has proposed include more signage and markings, especially signs that warn of a rollover risk.
Some of the solutions KYTC has proposed include more signage and markings, especially signs that warn of a rollover risk. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

KYTC has been trying to smooth things out for drivers over the years, but the problems still persist, often causing backups for hours.

“There’s one ramp in particular that seems to get more of a share of those crashes and that’s where I-64 W and I-71 S merge together right before 65,” Clifford said.

Some of the solutions KYTC has proposed include more signage and markings, especially signs that warn of a rollover risk, and to lengthen the taper from two lanes to one, so drivers have more time to get over.

Andrea Clifford, spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Andrea Clifford, spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Veteran truck driver of 35 years and Truck America instructor, C.K. Baker, said he wants to see flashing lights and rumble strips to slow people down way ahead of time.

“People out of town don’t realize that curve is there,” Baker said. “You’re going down the interstate 55 miles per hour and then you come up on that curve it says 35 miles per hour, you don’t have time to adjust especially a tractor trailer.”

But there’s only so much KYTC can engineer, the rest falls on the drivers.

“Speed is the biggest factor,” Baker said. “If the speed limit says 35, drive 35. It depends on what kind of products you’re putting as well. A lot of times it it’s not secured and it’s going to shift.”

KYTC submitted improvement plans at the end of June, they're just waiting for the green light.

Baker also adds you can help semi drivers stay safe by giving them plenty of space.

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