Initial work on a construction project designed to enhance transportation ingress and egress at Churchill Downs Racetrack will temporarily alter traffic and parking for a segment of guests who plan to attend the Louisville racetrack’s upcoming September Meet.
Guests are advised to visit www.ChurchillDowns.com/Parking in advance of attending the historic racetrack to view recommended alternative routes and a complete list of guest-appropriate temporary lots.
The September Meet at Churchill Downs begins Friday, Sept. 15, and Thoroughbred racing will continue for 11 days on a Thursday-Sunday schedule through Oct. 1.
The construction project is in a preliminary stage until final approvals and permits from Louisville Metro Government are realized. The improvements aim to advance the overall traffic and parking flow for guests who visit the historic racetrack throughout the year, including the high-volume crowds of Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup weeks. Additional aspects of the development include a promenade for guests to safely enter and exit the racetrack from and to the parking and loading/drop-off areas, and much-needed landscaping to an area at the facility mostly devoid of trees and plantings.
Parking lots will be reshaped, and the project could include traffic alternatives on the west side of its property. Discussions with neighborhood groups and city agencies and officials are underway to close select side streets in a nearly 50-acre area located within the track’s geographic footprint.
Current project work includes temporary lot closures and detours. Signs, electronic message boards and personnel will be in place to alert guests about the temporary closures and direct them to appropriate parking lots. Each lot will include handicapped parking. Gate 17 drop-offs are still allowed by heading south on 9th St. off of Central Ave.
Recommended alternative routes and guest-appropriate temporary lots are as follows:
GENERAL PARKING – General parking at Churchill Downs remains free-of-charge on a first-come, first-serve basis in the track’s largest parking lot via Longfield Avenue near Gate 10.
VALET – Valet Parking remains accessible via Longfield Avenue near Gate 10. Valet parking is $10 and may be purchased in advance as an add-on item during online http://www.ticketmaster.com/ purchases.
TURF CLUB – Members of the Churchill Downs Turf Club with reserved parking hangtag credentials will enter the temporary Purple Lot through Gate 12, which is best accessed by heading east on Queen Ave. off of Taylor Blvd. Courtesy shuttle transport to and from Gates 1 and 17 will be available.
JOCKEY CLUB SUITES – Jockey Club Suites guests with reserved parking hangtag credentials will enter the temporary Purple Lot through Gate 12, which is best accessed by heading east on Queen Ave. off of Taylor Blvd. Courtesy shuttle transport to and from Gates 1 and 17 will be available.
FINISH LINE SUITES – Finish Line Suites guests with reserved parking hangtag credentials will park in their customary Red Lot, which is best accessed by heading south on 9th St. off of Central Ave.
TSC ELITE VIP – TSC Elite members with reserved parking hangtag credentials will park in their customary Red Lot, which is best accessed by heading south on 9th St. off of Central Ave.
OWNERS/TRAINERS – Owners and trainers with reserved parking hangtag credentials will park in their customary Red Lot, which is best accessed by heading south on 9th St. off of Central Ave.
JOCKEYS – Jockeys with reserved parking hang tag credentials will temporarily park in the Red Lot, which is best accessed by heading south on 9th St. off of Central Ave.
ADA ACCESSIBLE PARKING – Parking for persons with disabilities remains available free-of-charge on a first-come, first-serve basis in the track’s largest parking lot via Longfield Avenue near Gate 10.
TAXI/RIDE-SHARE SERVICE – Taxi and ride-share service remains available near Gate 17 by heading south on 9th St. off of Central Ave.
BUSES – Buses should park in general parking via Gate 12, which is best accessed by heading east on Queen Ave. off of Taylor Blvd.
KENTUCKY DERBY MUSEUM – Parking for Kentucky Derby Museum guests may be accessed by heading south on 9th St. off of Central Ave. Parking will be available on the left near the intersection of 9th St. and Central Ave.
EMPLOYEES – Full-time employees of Churchill Downs Racetrack with reserved parking hangtag credentials will temporarily park in the Infield. Seasonal employees will park in Lot 1, which is best accessed by heading east on Queen Ave. off of Taylor Blvd.
A long-awaited project to make a Watterson Expressway exit safer is underway, making travel into Shively and Dixie Highway more efficient and less hair-raising for drivers and pedestrians.
The construction is the first phase of an accelerated plan to improve safety and traffic efficiency throughout the Dixie Highway corridor – a comprehensive set of projects that will invest more than $50 million along the highway over the next two years in the city’s busiest highway.
Mayor Greg Fischer joined Congressman John Yarmuth and representatives from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Metro Council to announce the beginning of the ramp realignment, and to preview the additional projects that will make the entire highway safer and easier to travel for both drivers and pedestrians.
“Traffic-choking designs like the current exit ramp make it difficult to get to our thriving businesses in south and west Louisville. This realignment will be a relief for every driver who travels in this area,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “This project is the jump-start for a series of improvements that will transform Dixie Highway and our neighborhoods in the south and west.”
About the realignment project
The current exit from I-264 westbound onto northbound Dixie Highway is short, and funnels directly into Dixie Highway without a designated merge lane or stoplight. Traffic often backs up along the ramp as drivers wait to safely move onto Dixie.
The project will realign the I-264 westbound ramp to Dixie Highway (US31) north into a T-intersection, including a traffic signal to safely move vehicles off the exit. The southbound lanes of Dixie are unaffected by this project. A new sidewalk under the Watterson Expressway will be added later.
“This exit ramp is a white-knuckle journey for drivers, and it’s tricky for northbound Dixie vehicles to navigate as well,” said Matt Bullock, chief district engineer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “By improving this ramp, we’ll make arriving on Dixie Highway a safer, more welcoming experience for drivers and pedestrians.”
The realignment project will require the exit ramp to be closed for a total of nine consecutive days (including two weekends to limit traffic impacts). The contractor, Milestone, has not yet identified those closure dates. The $724,000 project is scheduled to be completed by November.
“The City of Shively is excited for the project to begin, and we are looking forward to the changes it will create for us and all of Dixie Highway,” said Shively mayor Sherry Conner. “We are thankful for all the support we have received from all parties – whether it was financial or moral, we appreciate it.”
More Dixie improvements to come
The ramp realignment is the first phase of a two-year construction plan for significant improvements throughout the corridor, called the New Dixie Highway Project. Those improvements will fuel transformation of a major economic corridor for southwest and west Louisville.
The New Dixie Highway Project is the first major construction project from Mayor Fischer’s “Move Louisville” initiative.
Fueled by a nearly $17 million federal TIGER grant, the New Dixie Highway Project will include new fiber-linked traffic signals, new concrete and landscaped medians, and a first-in-the-city bus rapid transit line from TARC to run between downtown and the Gene Snyder Freeway.
“The New Dixie Highway project is the largest concentrated investment in Louisville’s transportation network since we began the Ohio River Bridges Project,” Fischer said. “When complete, the new Dixie Highway will be safer for everyone, more efficient for motorists, more reliable for transit users and more enticing for business owners, consumers and investors.”
“This is another important step forward in making Dixie Highway safer and improving the commute for drivers and pedestrians alike,” said Congressman Yarmuth. “Transportation goes hand and hand with economic growth, so I’ll continue to work with federal, state, and local leaders to make sure we pursue every opportunity available to fund these critical projects.”
The project is currently up for bid through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and construction may begin as early as this fall, with completion expected in December 2019.
The Kentucky Derby Festival is re-routing a small portion of the 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon presented by Walmart and Humana due to the renovation of the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC). The races are set for Saturday, April 29. The courses for both the miniMarathon and Marathon will be diverted one block to Second Street. This will affect the half marathon between mile 12 and 13; and the full marathon at mile 25. Marathon runners will also notice small changes between mile 13 and 14, to make up some additional distance. Overall, the changes affect less than one mile of the entire race.
“All downtown traffic is being rerouted to avoid the construction and the Kentucky Derby Festival is no exception,” said Matt Gibson, Senior Vice President of Events for the Kentucky Derby Festival. “Fortunately these are minor changes and will have minimal impact on the runners’ experience.”
The Festival is working with Louisville Metro Police to ensure the route is safe for the runners and still accessible to traffic. As they do along the entire race route, LMPD will assist with vehicle cross traffic at intersections, to ensure residents and businesses can still reach their destination when breaks in the race permit.
Along with changes to the course, the Race Expo will also temporarily move to the West Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) on April 27 and 28, 2017. The Expo is traditionally held at KICC, but will relocate to KEC for both 2017 and 2018, until the renovations are complete. Complimentary shuttles will be provided to transport runners from Downtown to the Kentucky Exposition Center. Parking fees will also be waived for runners picking up their race packets at the Expo. Runners will receive all the details in their confirmation packets and can also find it online at DerbyFestivalMarathon.com.
“We’re partnering with the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Convention & Visitors Bureau to make sure this move is seamless for the runners and our vendors,” said Shanna Ward, Race Director.
Operations, parking and other amenities at the start, finish and along the course remain unchanged. Both races will still start at 7:30 a.m. on Main Street in downtown Louisville and finish at Preston and Witherspoon Streets. The runners will also run through the main gate at Churchill Downs for their lap through the infield.
The Marathon and miniMarathon marks the largest annual day of road racing in Kentucky. Registration is still available online at www.derbyfestivalmarathon.com. Current registration is $85 for the mini and $95 for the Marathon.
Mayor Greg Fischer today helped launch the 2017 edition of the Pothole Blitz conducted annually by Metro Public Works. During the blitz, to recover from damage caused by the multiple freeze/thaw cycles of winter, Public Works crews go through the city’s streets in a grid pattern patching potholes until all roads are covered.
Mayor Fischer noted that the number of potholes is expected to continue a decline begun last year thanks to increased investment in paving and consecutive mild winters. Potholes peaked at 171,000 in 2015 following years of deferred road maintenance and a rough winter. But they are expected to total less than 50,000 in 2017.
The Mayor and Metro Council boosted spending on paving from just $2.8 million in 2014 up to $20.9 million in 2016. As a result, the number of miles paved increased from 26 in 2014 to 131 in 2016. Newly repaved roads are less susceptible to the formation of potholes.
Also this year, Public Works is adding $250,000 worth of new equipment that will help patch potholes faster and more effectively. For instance, vibrating walk-behind plate compactors are replacing handheld compactors to do a better job of pressing newly laid asphalt into place.
Mayor Fischer urged citizens to participate in the blitz by reporting potholes to MetroCall in one of three easy ways. Those using the social network Twitter can use the hashtag 502pothole. Include the hashtag along with the address or nearest intersection of the pothole location in any tweet, and MetroCall will get the message.
The same goes for a pothole reporting form that can be found at the top of the city website, Louisvilleky.gov. Click on the “Report a pothole” link, put in the location information and press send. “We believe government works best in collaboration with citizens,” the Mayor said. “The Twitter and website reporting tools are just another way to make city government even more responsive and easy to work with.” People can also call MetroCall at 311 or 574-5000. The 502pothole hashtag and the online form offer the advantage of avoiding the potential for having to wait on hold on the telephone.
Public Works patches potholes on Metro Government maintained roads. Potholes on interstate highways should be reported to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at 1-877-For-KYTC (367-5982).
Residents who drive on Dixie Highway will have two opportunities to view preliminary designs for the project, including details about median placements and bus stops.
Each meeting will be from 5-7 p.m. and is designed as a “drop-in” Open House style event, where people can come and go as their schedules allow. They will be able to meet some of the people working on the Dixie Project, look at plans and ask questions.
Meetings will feature:
The events will be:
Wednesday, Nov. 16
Southwest Regional Library
9725 Dixie Highway
Thursday, Nov. 17
Shively Community Center
1901 Park Road
More than $50 million in transportation improvements under way and planned over the next two years will create a New Dixie Highway and fuel transformation of a major economic corridor for southwest and west Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.
The New Dixie Highway, the first major construction project under the Mayor’s MOVE Louisville initiative, will include safety design enhancements, signal improvements, sidewalks, crosswalks and resurfaced lanes.
The city’s busiest transit corridor will also get the region’s first “bus rapid transit” line, including distinctive TARC buses and high-visibility shelters to help move thousands of people daily and better define the 14-mile corridor.
“The New Dixie Highway project is the largest concentrated investment in Louisville’s transportation network since we began the Ohio River Bridges Project,” Fischer said. “Over the next several years, we will create a new Dixie Highway that’s safer for everyone, more efficient for motorists, more reliable for transit users and more enticing for business owners, consumers and investors.”
Fischer, Congressman John Yarmuth, Metro Council members and other leaders provided the New Dixie Highway update at the soon-to-be-completed Kroger Marketplace, a $23 million grocery and retail superstore at 4915 Dixie Highway. The location is appropriate, Fischer said, because the project builds on the renaissance already under way on the corridor, with tens of millions of dollars in private investments in new restaurants, retail businesses and other developments.
Safety improvements will include new signal technology throughout the corridor, and median enhancements, dedicated turn lanes and defined crosswalks concentrated in the Crums Lane to Greenwood Road segment. Future phases will address other segments of the road.
Fischer thanked state legislators and Metro Council members for their commitment to improving safety and mobility along Dixie Highway, noting that without their work to secure state and local matching funds, the city would not have been able to leverage the federal grant to jump-start the project. Continue reading
Councilman Pat Mulvihill (D-10) today announced that railroad-crossing gates at a dangerous intersection in Buechel are set to be operational by Christmas.
“Norfolk Southern Railroad has indicated a tentative completion date of December 18, barring any unforeseen problems such as weather,” says Mulvihill.
The railroad crossing gates are being installed because of fatalities and injuries at Crawford Avenue and Buechel Avenue, which have occurred over the years. Norfolk Southern began installation in November after signing an agreement of understanding with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
“I want to thank Norfolk Southern for getting this work done before the end of the year,” says Mulvihill. “It’s a matter of life and death.”
It is critical that motorists abide by the new warning signals and gates. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. In fact, within the past week, a 15-year-old and 12 year-old in the Atlanta area were killed when the driver ignored the warning signals and attempted to go around the crossing gates.
“The warnings signals and crossing gates are designed to stop traffic from coming in contact with a moving train. It is as simple as that. I know there will be drivers, who despite these additional safety measures, will ignore them,” says Mulvihill. “Please, Stop, Think, and Be Safe.”
For more information, contact Councilman Mulvihill’s office at 574-1110.