Hazardous intersection to receive attention

-A A +A

County to add signs, ask for turn lanes at Boone/Eminence

By Lisa King

Shelby County magistrates expressed concern Tuesday about a potentially hazardous stoplight on Boone’s Station Road.

The intersection of Eminence Pike (KY 55), Boone’s Station Road and Cropper Road (KY 43) has been the site of several accidents, the latest one Monday in which one vehicle overturned and three people were hospitalized.

Magistrate Bill Hedges said he travels through that intersection every day and that a turning lane or turning arrow light is sorely needed.

“We have already had several accidents there, and I have had people calling me about it,” he said.

Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger said he recently had spoken to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials about the matter.

“I think people are trying pass on the shoulder or something like that,” he said. “I have spoken to Matt Bullock [Transportation Cabinet supervisor] about it.”

Andrea Clifford, spokesperson for the Transportation Cabinet, said it is too soon to say what, if anything, could be done.

“I spoke with Matt Bullock about Judge Rothenburger’s request for a cost estimate for turn lanes at KY 55 and KY 43,” she said. “The judge just submitted a request yesterday for this estimate, so we have not had time to prepare it yet. This will take two to three weeks.

“We currently do not have funding for a project to construct turn lanes at this intersection.  County officials would need to work with Rep. [Brad] Montell and Sen. [Paul] Hornback to get funding in the next edition of the Highway Plan, which isn’t until 2014.”

Clifford said transportation officials plan to put up different signs, which could improve the situation.

 “From what I can gather, one of the issues at this intersection is motorists passing on the right when waiting for people to turn left from KY 55 onto KY 43,” she said. “ As they go around the waiting vehicle, another vehicle coming in the opposite direction is turning left onto KY 43 and a crash occurs.  There currently are ‘no turn from shoulder’ signs in both directions.  KYTC will replace those with ‘do not drive on shoulder’ signs in both directions. Both signs are enforceable, but maybe the ‘do not drive’ signs will be more conclusive to motorists.”

Clifford did not specify when the signs would be installed.


Sheriff’s office to move

Shelby County Sheriff Mike Armstrong received permission to use $36,000 to remodel the first floor of the Shelby County Courthouse so that he could move his office from the basement of the building. This had been the plan since the opening in 2011 of the Shelby County Judicial Center.

 “It needs a lot of repairs, and we would have to fix up some of the offices,” said Armstrong, who had previewed this plan in December when presenting his budget.

Armstrong said his deputies would keep their patrol headquarters on the ground floor, but the part of the office that deals in tax collection and other matters would move upstairs.

“They [those deputies and clerks] deal with the public, and we want to have a nice place for our employees to work and for the public to conduct their business,” he said.

Magistrates were receptive to the idea, with Hedges saying, “It’s been a long time coming.”


Parks director search continues

Also at the meeting, magistrate Hubie Pollett, chair of Parks and Recreation, said the search to replace longtime Parks Director Clay Cottongim, who retired last year, is continuing.

So far, the board has received 17 applications, from local people as well as some from as far away as Florida, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Louisiana.

“So we have a good mix,” he said. “We will meet today at one o’clock to try to narrow down the candidates a bit.”

Until a new director is found, R.H. Bennett is serving as interim director.


Also at the meeting, magistrates:

§       Approved the appointment of Vivian Hayes to the Triple S Planning Commission’s Board of Adjustments and Appeals.

§       Accepted a proclamation declaring this week as Earthquake Awareness Week.

§       Accepted a proclamation declaring March as Severe Storms Preparedness Month.