Grange officials hope
to pre-empt Hwy. 53 congestion
development likely to increase traffic
from I-71 to Main Street
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (July 2005) The City of La Grange is taking
the first steps in alleviating an anticipated traffic congestion problem.
With the planned expansion of the La Grange area through a 1,000-acre
business park off of Hwy. 53, New Moody and I-71, officials are considering
all options that will benefit their city.
by Don Ward
often backs up
at the intersection of Hwy. 53
and I-71 in La Grange.
An explosion in the growth of economic development along
the Hwy 53 and I-71 corridor has left city officials and project planners
wondering if their plans to create a smooth traffic flow into the city
will instead become an ensnarled stretch of roadway that is a major
headache for all who travel it.
The city is on the verge of signing a contract with a consultant from
HNTB Corp. of Louisville to conduct a study on a one-mile stretch of
Hwy 53, from I-71 to Main Street. This Access Management Plan has taken
many options into consideration in this stretch of county-state roadway,
which is now bordered by fast food restaurants, gas stations and secondary
streets leading to businesses and offices.
Louise Allen, administrator for Oldham County Planning and Zoning, said
this is an opportunity to provide a gateway into the community
from the interstate.
The study will reveal issues that need treatment along this corridor.
It is a high-accident location, said Allen. It will determine
if too many curb cuts are present, it will space access points, analyze
ways to reduce congestion and frequency of crashes, and pinpoint more
room for landscaping.
A variety of techniques will be studied to remedy any problems in the
development of this corridor. The result will be similar to Shelbyville
Plaza, said Allen.
Allen said increased traffic congestion is a factor that is just naturally
expected to happen. She hopes that having plans in place ahead of time
to deal with any problems that may arise will ease tensions down the
The project is expected to take nine months from start to finish. The
city hopes to have the project implemented one year from now, said Allen.
The federal government has provided a $1.3 million grant for this project.
The money is for studying, designing and building the project, said
Karen Mohammadi, who is slated to be the project manager once a contract
HNTB will conduct the planning and engineering. Mohammadis firm
hopes to begin a study by July and have it completed by the end of the
year. The study will determine what improvements must be implemented
and a cost for the total project. The possibility exists for this to
be a phased project, instead of the entire project being completed at
The Kentucky legislature has added funds for this project into its proposed
Six-Year Plan, said Allen. But the money has not been authorized yet.
Public participation in this project is a must. Ideas will be sought
to ensure the safety of motorists and an aesthetic quality with which
merchants can feel comfortable.
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