US-31W – R-Cut Corridor

This project involves improvements to US-31W in Hardin County from KY-1357 in Elizabethtown, KY to Crutz Lane in Radcliff, KY. Originally a rural corridor with very little congestion, frequent openings in the median facilitated access and did not adversely affect safety. However, as development along the corridor increased, the frequent openings in the median, coupled with the expanding growth have contributed to increasing congestion and safety concerns. In addition, expansions in civilian employment at Fort Knox and commuters using this route as an alternative to I-65 to southern Jefferson County have further increased congestion.

The corridor currently includes numerous direct access points via unrestricted median openings and turn lanes contributing to ever-worsening congestion and increasing crashes. The existing corridor involves 20 signalized intersections, 3 coordinated signal systems, and numerous business access points.

Eliminating left turns at selected locations increases capacity and reduces travel time while reducing conflict points. Seven high-crash intersections have become the focus of a follow-up study to implement R-cut intersections to eliminate crossing movements, thereby reducing conflict points. These seven intersections utilized a grant for demonstration money to construct innovative intersections. Three of the intersections–KY-220, KY-434, and Blackjack Road in Radcliff–were previously let to construction.

Palmer Engineering is currently combining funds derived from HSIP and the pavement rehabilitation project, along with other KYTC and City of Elizabethtown funding to design a 3.3-mile segment of US-31W to create a continuous R-cut corridor and eliminate any cross median movements between the remaining signalized intersections. This project went to letting in August 2020.