Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass prepares for influx of visitors and traffic
SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Shoppers can mark their calendars for July 31: the opening of the state's largest outlet mall in Simpsonville is on schedule.
A huge influx of visitors and traffic goes along with the largest project Shelby County has seen in decades, and in order to avoid a traffic disaster, the planning has already started.
“I don't know that people know what to expect,” said Shelby County Tourism Commission Executive Director Katie Fussenegger.
Shelby County's Tourism Commission says the amount of interest over the new Shoppes of the Bluegrass is astonishing. Calls are coming from anxious shoppers all over the state. But right now, the road from I-64 to the outlet mall is riddled with orange barrels.
“Once we learned the outlet mall was coming we actually advanced a portion of the project to go ahead and get the interchange done,” explained KYTC spokesperson Andrea Clifford.
What looks like a mess now, will be finished by mid-June before the outlets open. The road is being widened, turn lanes added and traffic lights installed.
What won't be finished yet is the I-64 widening project. Just two lanes are open in each direction from Simpsonville to the first Shelbyville exit. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has its eye on a mid-August completion date.
“We visited Woodstock, Georgia where (Horizon Group’s) other location is located they had an obscene amount of traffic the first month really,” said Fussenegger.
Developer Horizon Group is working to avoid the same situation in Kentucky, developing a plan with local police. They've decided store employees and outlet staff will be asked to park off site and will be bused in to alleviate some congestion. They're also considering finding off site parking for patrons if need be.
From Brooks Brothers to Nike to Banana Republic, the store list is already quite long. However, the developer says get ready for even more. It’s going to be making even more announcements next week.
That means even more jobs are available.
“They are projecting about 1,000 jobs maybe an additional 400 to 500 part time positions."
Get ready. Simpsonville is now on the map.
“A lot of interest, a lot of interest,” explained Fussenegger.
Two job fairs are being held over the next month to try and fill all those jobs:
4 - 7:30 p.m.
Martha Layne Collins High School Gym
Must be 16 years or older to apply
12 - 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. - noon
Shelby Christian Church Gym
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