A major project to improve safety along one of the city’s most traveled highways began a new phase, as the construction kicked off for the new Dixie Highway Project.
Upon completion in December 2019, the improved corridor will include safety improvements such as new medians, wider sidewalks and clearly marked crosswalks; efficiency improvements including responsive traffic signals linked by fiber optic cable; and the city’s first bus rapid transit system which will vastly improve bus travel times to and from downtown.
The $35 million project will create a New Dixie Highway that’s safer for drivers and pedestrians, and will fuel transformation of a major economic corridor for southwest and west Louisville. The New Dixie Highway Project is the first major construction project under the Mayor’s MOVE Louisville initiative.
“We’re investing more money into improving Dixie Highway right now than any other corridor in the city,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “This road is a crucial connector for people to get to schools, to work, to health care, and most importantly, to get back home. This project will not only make Dixie safer for drivers, but it will make it more attractive for business owners, consumers and investors.”
Dixie Highway carries nearly 60,000 vehicles per day near its busiest intersections, which is a higher traffic count than some interstate stretches. Dixie Highway also suffers a fatality rate three times higher than comparable Kentucky roadways.
The project includes funding from federal, state and local sources, including a $16.9 million federal TIGER grant, $5.28 federal funds through KIPDA, $12 million in state funds, and $600,000 from Louisville Metro.
This month, MAC Construction began preparations for construction, including temporary lane shifts and utility location. Safety improvements will include new concrete medians designed to limit left turns between Crums Lane and Greenwood Road. Dedicated turn lanes will reduce the risk for head-on collisions. Pedestrians will enjoy new, more accommodating sidewalks that are eight feet wide in many areas, and better markings for crosswalks.
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. More than 100 trees will be planted along the route, as well as native grasses and plants within the new landscaped medians.