Stuck truck sticky for students as schools close

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By Lisa King

Shelby County students leaving on their last day of school may have wondered Tuesday if they ever would be free for the summer. A truck pulling a modular home became stuck between construction barricades on Interstate 64, shutting down westbound traffic just across the Jefferson County line for four and a half hours and backing up vehicles in long clogs on the interstate, U.S. 60 and connecting roads. All of this kept school buses from moving through their routes in a timely manner. Drivers across the county had some difficulty with their routes but particularly those headed west to Simpsonville, bus garage supervisor George Blakeman said. He said drivers were instructed to use the alternate routes of U.S. 60 and KY 55, but those roadways also were congested because of traffic detouring from the interstate. “U.S. 60 is backed up [to the west] to the county line,” he said. He said he did not know how late, if any, that the buses were in picking up and dropping off students. The interstate re-opened at 2:30 p.m. when the semi trailer truck was removed from the  bridge over Long Run Creek, near the Jefferson County line. Westbound traffic was diverted at Simpsonville (exit 28) onto U.S. 60, and vehicles were backed up more than 4 miles, to beyond the Taylorsville  Road exit. Traffic exiting at Taylorsville Road to get to U.S. 60 found further backups building from the stop light at Buck Creek Road past Fields Lane and continuing east nearly to Scott Station Road. Construction on the Shelbyville Bypass at Taylorsville Road and U.S. 60 also hampered traffic flow. Meanwhile, trucks that remained trapped on I-64 between Simpsonville and Jefferson County were forced to back up slowing to try to free themselves from the logjam. Kentucky State Police dispatcher John Lyle said that Transportation Cabinet officials took over the problem and that they called in a construction company to physically remove the barricade, freeing the mobile home. Simpsonville Fire Chief Walter Jones said traffic was just extremely congested. “Simpsonville is just a mess,” he said. “We had a car fire at Penrod’s [lumber, about a mile from the fire station], and it was tough getting to it.”