LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Motorists and state transportation officials call Liberty Road one of the busiest streets in Lexington. After years of discussion and planning, state officials plan to widen a portion of the road from two lanes to five to alleviate the volume of traffic.
Although neighbors say something needs to change, they recognize construction may cause more traffic back up.
A portion of Liberty Road is an old country road with two lanes of motorists trying to either cut through to Hamburg, go home, or if you live in one of the adjacent neighborhoods, attempt to leave home.
“Well the area is very congested at this time,” said Natasha Lacy with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
KYTC estimates Liberty Road handles 19,000 vehicles a day.
“We want to provide added safety for the school that is located in this area as well,” Lacy said.
Liberty Elementary is one of two Fayette County Schools benefiting from the transportation cabinet’s commitment to improved safety around schools. As part of the widening project, it will receive new safety devices that will keep pedestrians and motorists safer around a school zone.
“It is a difficult situation to get in and out of here in the mornings and in the afternoon it’s dangerous it is dangerous,” Liberty Elementary Principal Lisa Kear said.
The project’s current schedule starts in 2023 with a right of way acquisition. In 2024 you’ll see utility relocations, and the main event, construction, will begin in 2025 and hopefully be completed by 2027.
All this will impact the stretch from New Circle Road to Graffton Mill Road. The district’s school bus garage sits right in the middle, and will be impacted by the change.
“Oh it’s so interesting at night they flying up and down, I mean they flying,” said Janice Jackson, who lives off Liberty Road.
Jackson has lived there since 1998 and says expansion is needed.
“As wide as they possibly can because they fly up and down there,” Jackson said.
Bob Gollefer works off Liberty Road and is in favor of the widening project, but he feels construction will back up traffic even more.
“Construction is only going to slow things down a lot worse but I guess in the end it’s going to be beneficial,” Gollefer said.
When it’s complete expect to see five lanes. Two on each side, and a turn lane. Also, sidewalks will be in place.
All at a cost of $20 million.
The Transportation Cabinet will work with the school system for better access to the bus garage during construction.