Veechdale Road improvements slated for spring

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Area west of outlet mall is concern of residents

By Lisa King

A problem with a sharp, narrow bend on the southwestern end of the new segment of Veechdale Road is about to be addressed, officials say, although they do not have a definite timetable on when that will take place or what it will cost.
That curve, just northeast of the railroad crossing on KY 1399, was constructed as part of a half-mile or so of new road that meanders from Buck Creek Road through the Outlet Shoppes of Louisville, and it has been a concern to residents in the area since it opened on Sept. 22.

The problem, they say, is the extremely sharp turn just east of the Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing, which doesn’t allow larger vehicles to stay in the same lane and limits advance views of the crossing, too.

Resident Jack Trumbo and District 2 Magistrate Michael Riggs had led a public outcry against the construction of the road as soon as it was opened, and state officials got involved when the situation was brought to light in The Sentinel-News.

Tom Rumptz, senior vice president of Horizon Group Properties, headquartered in Michigan, said the design improvements to the road are scheduled be done this spring by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

“I think it’s a pretty straight forward deal being handled by the cabinet,” he said. “The catalyst was the residents and their state representatives and legislators, so I think that is the key thing.”

Andrea Clifford, public information officer for the Transportation Cabinet, could not provide a more definite timeframe Tuesday for the construction than it would be in the spring of 2014.

“The improvements we are going to make to the turning radius at the railroad crossing will not take place until warmer weather and drier ground conditions,” she said. “

A routine inspection last summer of the southwest-bound traffic through that area showed that smaller delivery trucks had difficulty passing in the curve, and there was no chance any sort of trailer could accommodate the curve without leaving its lane and blocking oncoming traffic, even to the point of trapping it on the railroad track.

State officials returned last fall to inspect the approach to the crossing and found the pavement to be a bit narrow and the angle a bit sharp.

State contractors built the road at state-approved specifications before turning it over to state workers for final approval, striping and formal opening, and after the road opened, some had wondered if the road were built to meet the specifications presented for approval by the Triple S Planning Commission and the Simpsonville City Commission.

“We did not say the road was built to inadequate specifications,” Clifford reiterated Tuesday. “The new road adds eight more feet of pavement in most areas.  The curve is very similar to the intersection at KY 1399 and Taylorwood Road. The radius of the curve on KY 1399 approaching the railroad crossing is tight for longer vehicles with trailers. We will be improving the turning radius.”

Clifford said she had no concrete figures yet on what the cost of those improvements will be.