Brannon Road, which connects U.S. 27 at Brannon Crossing and U.S. 68 near Southland Christian Church, is being studied for possible safety improvements, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced Monday.
The cabinet has begun the project design and environmental study, according to a media advisory.
Project manager Joshua Samples said the cabinet is focused on the safety of the road.
“Some of the things we will be looking at is improving the geometry, widening the pavement and the shoulders a little bit, and the elimination of roadside hazards,” Samples said. “Some of (the hazards) are entrances that are in blind spots, trees, quick drop-offs that are in the area that are bad.”
The move to improve the heavily traveled stretch of road was music to the ears of Jessamine County Fire District Chief Mike Rupard.
“There’s several different spots all along Brannon Road where we’ve worked numerous accidents,” Rupard said. “It’s too narrow. Another problem comes from a lot of the shoulder work that has taken place over the years, and it’s added blacktop on it, and the drop-off is the biggest issue. Where it’s so narrow, (commuters) will drop off and overcorrect and shoot across and either sideswipe or hit head-on another vehicle or cross the road and hit trees.”
Presently, throughout different locations on Brannon Road, there are white X’s on the side of the road that Samples said are for aeriel survey purposes.
“It helps them clearly mark ground lines, and it helps them identify the actual locations of the pavement,” Samples said.
A traffic count for the road is being conducted, and Samples said it should be finished in February.
Before any decisions are made regarding improvements, a public meeting will be set up in either April or May to receive feedback and ideas from residents, Samples said.
“We want to try to get everybody’s concerns before we get started on anything,” he said. “We want to get ideas from everyone out there who drives on the road; we want to know what they see as problems (with the road).”
Samples stressed the project is in the very beginning stages.
“In our six-year plan, I don’t think we have anything besides the design schedule,” he said. “Usually the full design to get to the right-of-way phase takes a couple years.”
Authorization for the Brannon Road project was received in September 2012, and surveying activities have already begun. This phase of the design process is expected to continue through April 2014.
“We get a plan and get information from the area development district, from local governments and officials, and then our maintenance guys and planning guys,” Samples said. “Then we come up with a list of about 30 or 40 projects that are ranked (by priority), and this was one of the ones that was ranked fairly high.”