PADUCAH, Ky. (Aug. 9, 2021) – Motorists and truckers traveling Interstate 24 westbound in the immediate Paducah area should be prepared to encounter a reduced speed limit starting as early as Tuesday afternoon, August 10, 2021.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) plans to reduce the westbound speed limit from 65 to 55 miles per hour starting near the Elmdale Road Overpass at mile point 7.364 extending westward to the I-24 Ohio River Bridge at mile point 0.0. The speed reduction is part of ongoing efforts to enhance safety for westbound traffic entering the merge point for an extended work zone in Illinois.
KYTC engineers have been in discussions with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Kentucky State Police, The McCracken County Sheriff, Paducah Police, McCracken County Emergency Management, and other agencies since the work zone was established in March. Those discussions have already resulted in enhanced police patrols and previous changes in the IDOT work zone configuration along the westbound lanes in Kentucky.
“Initial police crash reports from this area suggest driver inattention contributed to several of the crashes,” said KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat. “This reduction in the speed limit is one thing we can do while we await completion of police investigative efforts that might provide guidance for additional measures.”
KYTC and IDOT engineers have discussed the merits of moving the work zone merge point to assist with emergency response efforts. Meanwhile, KYTC central office leadership worked out details to reduce the 55 mph speed limit along I-24 westbound to aid police enforcement efforts.
“This reduced speed limit is the result of an official order from the Kentucky Secretary of Transportation which will make it enforceable in a court of law. It will become effective immediately upon placement of appropriate signage. It will remain in effect throughout the duration of the work being performed by IDOT,” Poat said.
The new speed limit signs will go up as soon as soon as possible and the 55 mph speed limit will be enforceable at that time. Poat noted that could be as early as Tuesday afternoon.
The Kentucky State Police, McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, and Paducah Police Department are prepared to enforce this 55 mph speed limit as soon as the new signs are installed.
KYTC District 1 will provide timely notice when the reduced speed limit becomes enforceable.
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Timely traffic advisories for the 12 counties of KYTC Highway District 1 are available by going to www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1. You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.