Eastbound lanes of the Mountain Parkway closing for two weeks beginning Friday
JACKSON, Ky. (WYMT) - Since late July, the westbound lanes of the Mountain Parkway in Powell at the Powell and Wolfe County lines have been closed due to a large sinkhole.
Starting Friday, repairs will start on the eastbound lanes of the Mountain Parkway between exits 33 and 40.
“We realize that it will be a major inconvenience to local drivers and long distance traffic that uses the Mountain Parkway," said H.B. Elkins, Public Information Officer for KYTC District 10.
After discovering the 50 foot sinkhole under the westbound lanes, Elkins says engineers found erosion under the eastbound lanes as well.
“It gets deeper as you go over into the westbound lanes and the eastbound lanes there is some erosion underneath of them but no where near the amount in the westbound lanes.”
Construction crews will completely dig out the pavement on both sides of the road.
“The plan is to fill that back up with rock that would be more porous and would let any water that’s draining through there would let the water go through without eroding anything," said Elkins.
Eastbound drivers will be detoured off the parkway at Exit 33 onto southbound KY-11 and northbound KY-715 through Natural Bridge, Zachariah, Rogers, and Pine Ridge. Drivers will re-enter the parkway at Exit 40. The detour will also encompass northbound KY-15 on Slade Hill, as uphill traffic has been blocked to accommodate the detour for the westbound lanes of the Mountain Parkway.
“It’s probably going to take 20 to 25 minutes on the detour route," said Elkins.
The eastbound lanes will be closed for two weeks and Elkins expects the westbound lanes to be open by October 31.
“It will be open to traffic by then but there may still be some incidental work going on out there until the final completion date of November 15," said Elkins.
Elkins is urging travelers to drive safely especially on the detour through Natural Bridge, as traffic will back up.
“October is traditionally a very busy months for the natural bridge and red river gorge area because of the fall leaves and the scenery," said Elkins.
The detour of the westbound lanes continues between Exit 40 and Exit 33 onto northbound KY-15. Due to a bridge rehabilitation project, vehicles wider than 11 feet need to stay on KY-15 between Slade and Stanton.
KYTC warns drivers that the detours are narrow and downhill, urges them to drive with caution.
The cost of repairs is estimated at about $2 million, but Elkins says the winner of the bid for the contract was just over $1 million.
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