Officials meet with state transportation about concerns, improvements at dangerous U.S. 127 intersection

Posted May 11, 2017 at 10:48 am


Clinton Co. US 127 & KY 90.psd

One of Clinton County’s busiest intersections, the intersection of KY. 90 and U.S. 127, is about to get a make over and hopefully, according to members of the Kentucky Department of Transportation, the changes will make the roadway safer for motorists traveling through it.

Clinton County Judge/Executive Richard Armstrong has been lobbying for a change at the intersection since his first day in office.

Kentucky Department of Transportation members, along with House Speaker Jeff Hoover, Senator Max Wise, Judge/Executive Armstrong, Clinton County Sheriff Jim Guffey and Albany Police Chief Ernest Guffey were on hand Friday morning to discuss the changes to the intersection.

The project is called the Highway Safety Improvement Project which will offset the turning lanes on three sides of the intersection.

According to traffic reports and how accidents have occurred in the past, being able to have a clear sight window is part of the problem.

As it is now, U.S. 127 has three lanes, one that turns left onto KY 90 West toward Cumberland County, one that directs traffic straight on to Grider Hill Dock Road and one that turns right on to U.S. Hwy 127 East toward Wayne County.

The proposal on the new project will be to combine the left turning lane and the lane that takes traffic to Grider Hill Dock road traveling North on KY Hwy. 90.

There will also be changes to the lanes on U.S. Hwy. 127 that will include an “island” on the west side of the intersection that will separate traffic turning right onto KY Hwy. 90 and the traffic going straight through the intersection towards Wayne County.

“I don’t think the public will complain because they will be more comfortable because they can see,” Patty Dunaway, State Highway Engineer said. “A lot of times we will offset the left turning lanes. We don’t do that as much with the right turning lanes, but we’ve found that is a much better option just to make sure people can see.”

Data from the State Highway Department stated there were 16 total accidents at that intersection from April 2014 to April 2017, three of which occurred at night.

“Unfortunately the un-attention or the distracted drivers, it doesn’t matter what you put out there,” Dunaway said.

The intersection has been the scene of several traffic accidents that have involved multiple vehicles trying to maneuver through the dangerous intersection.

Many of those accidents have resulted in serious injuries and fatalities over the past several years.

The project to bring improvements has already been started with the State Highway Department and construction on the new design of the intersection is expected to start around July of 2017.

“I think moving the turning lane is going to make a huge difference,” Hoover said. “This is a great step in the right direction for safety.”

Once construction starts, the State Highway Department expects it to be completed in around 23 days.

After construction is complete and data is received from the newly constructed intersection, if any additional measures need to be taken, the highway department will look into making the proper changes.

Still, the suggestion of adding traffic signals – more commonly referred to as “stop lights”, although the most often mentioned solution by local officiials and the general public, wasn’t offered up as a possibility at this time by the transportation officials, who have continued to fight against that proposal since the intersection was built.

Regardless, Armstrong concluded the meeting by reminding those attending that the addtion of fully functional traffic signals continue to be an option that local officials think need to be considered.

“I think phase two needs to be a stop light,” Armstrong said. “I like this design. I definitely think it will be an improvement. We are grateful everyone is here and has heard our cries. This meeting wouldn’t have happened without Jeff Hoover and Max Wise.”

Above is how the dangerous intersection of U.S. 127 and Ky. 90 would be set up after changes proposed by the Kentucky Transportation Department are completed. Those changes would involve the elimination/combining of separate travel and turning lanes that now exists, which would hopefully create a better line of sight for motorists at the intersection in terms of being able to see oncoming traffic.

Below, the changes were previewed last week during a meeting with local officials and representatives from the Kentucky Department of Transportation.