The influx of industries from the east and west sides of Lebanon has been a boon to the local economy, but has presented challenges for the region’s transportation system.
With 900 semi-trailers moving in and out of town each day, added to the 4,500 people who come to work in the Marion County Headquarters and the 4,300 who go to work elsewhere, getting around is not always easy. one end of town to the other. This can be a major problem in the eastern part of Lebanon where industries and school traffic can cause headaches for motorists.
The Kentucky Department of Transportation is investigating potential bypass routes to the eastern corridor to accommodate trucks from the west that now pass through downtown Lebanon or completely around the northern end.
They are working on a design that would connect the western ring road that runs from the Veterans Memorial Road on Ky. 2154 and into the industrial park on the south side to Bradfordsville Road.
At a public briefing, there was also a map showing the road that continues to Sulfur Springs Road and Corporate Drive and connects to Springfield Road. Another road went further on Springfield Road and connected to Barbers Mill Pike.
As part of the project, improvements will also be made at the intersections of Main Street and Corporate Drive near Kroger in Lebanon.
“More than likely, this will include widening the existing road and improving the existing intersection,” said Brad Bottoms, branch manager for project development at the Elizabethtown Roads district office. “We can add additional turn lanes or we can add a central turn lane or individual turn lanes for the different locations. Depending on what the larger study recommends, if there is a stronger connection to be made, it may slightly change what we do at the intersection.
Gary Ford is one of some 40 people who showed up to see the plans last week. He hopes the final plans don’t cross his 279-acre farm on Bradfordsville Highway. It has been in his family since 1953 and he wishes to pass it on to his daughter and grandson.
“When you lose good, productive farmland, whether it’s crops, hay or whatever, to feed the cows or the crops to feed the world, I have a problem with that,” he said. “When that farmland is gone, it’s gone. I don’t want to sell at any price.
The meeting is just starting the process for projects that Bottoms estimates could elapse five to six years later.
“We will be taking the information we get from local authorities and the public and over the next few months, we will be collecting product data,” Bottoms said. “We will look at all of this and develop concepts to solve the problems that we see and that the public has brought to our attention. Then in the spring or early summer, we’ll come back to the audience with concept projects to address some of those issues. We will be seeking opinions on these projects to see if they are worth moving forward. We have to consider something else. “
Some issues that will be considered include traffic, environmental concerns and how residences will be affected.
The public can view the plans and participate in a related online survey at eastleb.com.