KYTC awards contract for project to increase public safety, mobility on roadways in vicinity of Kentucky Speedway
Ohio company submits low bid of $3.7 million
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 5, 2011) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has awarded a contract for a project to increase public safety and mobility on Interstate 71 and other roadways in the vicinity of Kentucky Speedway, in Gallatin County.
Sunesis Construction Co., of West Chester, Ohio, submitted the low bid of $3,708,082 – $220,183 below the cabinet’s estimate. Four other companies also submitted bids.
The project will result in added capacity to sections of I-71 and KY 35 so traffic can flow more quickly and safely into the Speedway’s parking areas, which owner Speedway Motorsports Inc. is greatly enlarging. In addition, a pedestrian tunnel will be built.
KYTC agreed to make the investment after Speedway Motorsports took steps to prevent a recurrence of the traffic jam that plagued the track’s inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in July. Traffic backed up onto I-71, creating a hazard for through traffic.
The problem was insufficient Speedway parking space and acknowledged weaknesses in parking management. But in August, Speedway Motorsports bought 143 adjacent acres for parking and contracted with an experienced parking management company.
“The Commonwealth has a compelling interest in maintaining and protecting public mobility and safety at all times and for all occasions, including large sporting events,” KYTC Secretary Mike Hancock said. “Much of the traffic caught in the backup on I-71 the day of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race was simply trying to pass through the area. Any backup on a roadway, especially an interstate, is potentially hazardous.”
The new project includes improving the I-71 southbound ramp to allow a third lane of right-turn exit traffic onto KY 35, which runs past the Speedway. The ramp currently has two right-turn lanes. In addition, six-tenths of a mile of KY 35 will be widened to five lanes with two, full-width shoulders. The pedestrian tunnel, to be installed beneath KY 35, will enable race patrons to walk in safety from new parking lots to the Speedway complex.