PADUCAH, Ky. — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has announced that both eastbound and westbound work zone lane restrictions on the Interstate 24 Tennessee River Bridge at the 30 mile marker will remain in place during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel period. To help minimize the potential for delays, travelers are advised to consider alternate routes during peak travel hours.
The eastbound and westbound lanes of I-24 in Kentucky are restricted to one lane – with a 14-foot maximum load width restriction – between Exit 27 and Exit 31.
KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat said a traffic alert released prior to the Thanksgiving holiday helped to keep traffic delays on I-24 to generally less than 20 minutes during the busy travel period. He asks regular commuters and travelers to again use the alternate routes to help reduce delays.
“While our agency goal is to lift work zone lane restrictions during holiday travel periods, maintaining this lane restriction is necessary due to unexpected construction delays during the installation of new joints on the Tennessee River Bridge,” said Poat. “By encouraging area commuters to take alternate routes, we hope to again minimize traffic delays.”
The year-end holiday travel period is defined as Saturday, Dec. 22 through Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Transportation officials also expect heavy traffic on Friday, Dec. 21.
KYTC has sent out a nationwide traffic alert with the hope of reaching truckers and other cross-country travelers who plan to travel I-24 in Kentucky. However, Poat notes that the biggest impact on traffic volume can come from local drivers.
“Most people don’t realize that the average vehicle on interstate highways is traveling about 30 miles,” Poat said. “During the holiday, that average bumps up to about 50 miles. That means local commuters who choose to take the alternate routes can have the greatest impact on traffic volume through this restricted work zone.”
Approximately 29,200 vehicles travel through the work zone on an average day.
The following are suggested alternate routes:
I-24 eastbound alternate routes
US 62 eastbound at Exit 27
- Take a self-detour between the I-24/US 62 Calvert City Exit 27 interchange along US 62 eastbound to KY 453 northbound to the I-24/KY 453 Grand Rivers Exit 31 interchange. During peak travel periods, this two-lane alternate route “A” may become congested.
I-69 southbound to US 68 eastbound at I-24 Exit 25
- At the I-24/I-69 Exit 25 interchange, take I-69 southbound to the US 68 Draffenville Exit 47 interchange, then follow US 68 eastbound to rejoin I-24 at the Cadiz Exit 65 interchange. This is alternate route “B” and adds approximately 18 minutes of travel time.
I-24 westbound alternate routes
US 68 eastbound From I-24 Cadiz Exit 65 to I-69 northbound
- Take the US 68 Cadiz Exit 65 interchange, follow US 68 West to the I-69/US 68 Draffenville Exit 47 interchange, then travel I-69 North to rejoin I-24 at the I-24/I-69 Exit 25 interchange near Calvert City. This is alternate route “B” and adds approximately 18 minutes of travel time.
KY 453 southbound to US 62 westbound at Exit 31
- Take a self-detour between the I-24/KY 453 Grand Rivers Exit 31 Interchange and the I-24/US 62 Calvert City Exit 27 Interchange. During peak travel periods, this two-lane alternate route “A” may become congested.
Message boards along I-24 eastbound at the Kentucky-Illinois state line and westbound at the Kentucky-Tennessee state line will be used to alert drivers to the potential for work zone backups and the possibility for delays. Additional message boards will also provide traffic information.
Motorists and commercial drivers are advised to use goky.ky.gov or the WAZE app for real-time traffic activity. Updates on traffic conditions in this work zone and timely traffic advisories for KYTC Highway District 1 are available at www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1.