KY 1448 – Maple Leaf Drive

The KY-1448 corridor was plagued by congestion caused by cut-thru traffic during peak hours and the Mason County Schools complex located along the route. The presence of Mason County High School along with a Middle School and an Elementary School has generated considerable pedestrian traffic along the route since after school programs are provided at the YMCA at the northern terminus and the Tom Browning Boys and Girls Club at the southern terminus. The existing roadway had a minimal typical section with horizontal and vertical deficiencies along the study section.

Palmer Engineering was selected to provide surveying, Phase I and Phase II design services for the contract along with developing traffic forecasts and simulations. A critical element of the project development was working with a team of local business and government leaders to select an appropriate typical section that not only provides for increased safety and capacity for motorists, but also provides multi-modal facilities for recreational bicyclists and pedestrians. The presence of several potentially eligible historic homes also played a critical part in alternative development and selection.

Palmer developed two alternatives along the corridor horizontally and vertically. With an existing ADT of 5,000 vpd and a design year ADT of 8,800 vpd, a three-lane urban typical section was selected. VISSIM traffic simulations were used to compare alternatives. The simulations analyzed critical movements at the US-68 and AA Highway intersections and provided measures of effectiveness for use in an Alternative Comparison Matrix. The VISSIM model was calibrated using multiple travel time routes and queue lengths at the signalized intersections within the study area. Pedestrian movements were included in the simulations for public meetings.

During two meetings with local officials, their input about potential alternatives and the recommendation to KYTC were discussed. Comments received at two public meetings were also used to facilitate decision making.