Buck Creek Road widening is under way

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State will focus on I-64 area before extending to U.S. 60

By Todd Martin

Simpsonville residents will be seeing more road construction around the city’s Interstate 64 interchange.

State contractors began Monday the widening of KY 1848, Buck Creek Road, extending from about a third of a mile south of I-64 to the entrance of the Shelby County Flea Market.

“They’re going to start putting signs up this week to let people know about the project, but the actual work won’t begin until the twenty-second,” said Andrea Clifford, public information officer for the Department of Highways District 5 office.

A release from Clifford had stated that one lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction, but shoulder closures are possible on the road and interstate ramps during the construction.

Louisville Paving Company was awarded the contract for $2.97 million. The project is expected to finish in May of 2014.

This first phase of the project includes widening the road to five lanes, the addition of turning lanes at the entrance and exit ramps to I-64 and traffic signals at both ramps.

The bridge over I-64 was widened in 2011 to handle five lanes as a part of the I-64 widening project.

A new intersection for KY 1848 and KY 1399, Veechdale Road, also will be constructed because Veechdale is being relocated by permit in conjunction with the Horizon Group Property’s Outlet Shoppes of Louisville.

Horizon Group has started site work for its 365,000-square-foot outlet mall, which received its final approval last month. That construction is expected to finish in late summer/early fall of 2014.

Veechdale Road’s intersection with Buck Creek will be moved south about one third of a mile from its current location right next to I-64, to accommodate the development and meet state standards. Horizon Group will handle the rebuilding of that road, and it will be used to circle part of the development before connecting with its current roadbed to the west at the railroad tracks. The utility relocation for this part of the project is complete.

The second phase of the project, which will widen KY 1848 north to the intersection with U.S. 60, isn’t on the schedule yet.

“That won’t be put out for bid until fall of 2014 because we’re still working on right-of-way acquisition,” Clifford said. “That won’t be complete until late summer, early fall, and then the utility relocation phase of that area will likely take about a year. The reason for that is we’ll need to work with the railroad company [Norfolk Southern] and possibly relocate some of the utilities underneath the tracks.”

Clifford said the reason the project was split into two phases was so the interstate interchange and intersection with KY 1399 could be completed before the development in the area.

“The right-a-way needed for this area wasn’t as much, and there were very few utilities to relocate,” she said. “Because of that and the development in the area we wanted to go ahead and start this portion of the project so we could have our work done before the development opens. Although we both could be working in the area at the same time.”