Officials update progress on $50 million Dixie Highway improveme - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Officials update progress on $50 million Dixie Highway improvement project

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Crews are continuing to work to improve Dixie Highway in hopes of making it safer and easier to navigate. 

Officials are calling it "The New Dixie Highway." The $50 million project is the largest since the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Years of planning and begging for funding has paid off.

Metro Council President David Yates praised the upcoming improvements at a news conference Wednesday. 

"For a kid who grew up literally down the street, I thought, wow, if we could really re-do Dixie Highway, if it could no longer be Dixie Die-Way, if it could no longer be a corridor just to take you somewhere, but a destination," Yates. 

City and state leaders and Congressman John Yarmuth gave an update Wednesday on all of the funding they've been pushing for - a total of $50 million - to make Dixie Highway safer, and a desirable spot for businesses.

Some work has already begun, and more safety improvements will begin soon. 

Next year, several projects will kick off, including: sidewalk widening, defined crosswalks, and a bus rapid transit line -- a concept new to the city.

"The new service will be mean eight new attractive, fuel efficient buses, with air quality improvements," said Cedric Powell, chairman of TARC's board of directors. "These buses will travel exclusively on the Dixie Highway corridor."

Powell says the buses will also have some high-tech features. 

"To keep these modern buses moving as efficiently as possible, new technology will trigger traffic lights to turn on or stay green as these modern coaches approach," Powell said. 

This will improve service for the nearly 5,000 daily riders in this area.

And the buses won't be the only things moving faster. Another part of the 14-mile corridor face lift involves improving signal time and traffic flow for the 60,000 vehicles that travel it each day.

Dixie Highway has been a deadly site for pedestrians and drivers through the years -- something Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer acknowledges. 

"Clearly it is wide, and has hundreds of access points, very few medians, and only a handful of crosswalks and sidewalks, and in some places they're narrow or non-existent," Fischer said. 

In a couple of years, city officials hope Dixie Highway will be safer and become a desirable destination where businesses can thrive.

The projects are being completed in phases, but officials still want the public's input. You can weigh in at two upcoming meetings. The first meeting will be Sept. 14 at the Southwest Regional airport; the second meeting is set for Sept. 15 at Wheatley Elementary. Both meetings will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Or you can click here to leave your comments on a newly launched website.

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