Dangerous median on US 60 in Hawesville to be removed | News
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says a contractor is expected to start work Monday to remove a mountable median on US 60 in front of the Dollar General Store in Hawesville.
The site, at 230 US Highway 60 East and near the US 60 intersection with Jennings Street, was the subject of a petition drive by students at Hancock County Middle School and employees of the store. The petition claimed there had been a number of crashes at the site prompting concerns about safety.
At the request of Hancock County Judge-Executive Jack McCaslin and Hawesville Mayor Rita Stephens, transportation engineers ran a check of the area and found only one reported crash. However, they also found that police had issued dozens of citations to drivers for traveling the wrong way down a turn lane to avoid crossing the slightly raised median.
After additional study, KYTC Chief District Engineer Kevin McClearn said traffic engineers determined that removing the mountable median would likely encourage motorists to cross the median at a safer spot and avoid driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic.
“We’re fortunate that several things have come together to allow us to remove the raised median fairly quickly,” McClearn said. “We have a widening project along the old US 60 lanes nearby. By adding it into the contract for work on US 60 West of Hawesville, we can reduce the cost when compared to a stand-alone project.”
Yager Materials of Owensboro, the contractor on the US 60 widening project, agreed to rework the mountable median for $77,285. The work involves removing the slightly raised concrete and replacing it with a flat median structure. Construction at the site is expected to start Monday and be completed by about Christmas, weather permitting.
Traffic engineers emphasized that if motorists continue to drive the wrong way along the turn lane instead of crossing the median that crashes are likely.
“As our engineers were studying this location it became apparent that motorists were regularly traveling the wrong way along the left-turn lane for Jennings Street,” McClearn said. “While we can’t force motorists to cross the median at an appropriate/safer location, we believe removal of the raised portion of the median will encourage safer driving habits.”
Removal of the mountable median will require re-engineering of some drainage at the site.
McClearn said traffic engineers are asking area police agencies to continue taking appropriate enforcement action against drivers who endanger themselves and others by driving the wrong way along the turn lane.