Final design plans for Dixie Highway improvements include sidewa - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Final design plans for Dixie Highway improvements include sidewalks, fiber optic cable

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Major improvements are on the way for one of Louisville's most dangerous roadways.

Final design plans have been released for the New Dixie Highway project.

Dixie Highway has long been known as one of the most dangerous road for both pedestrians and drivers in Louisville. According to the city, the rate of fatal crashes on the road is more than three times the rate of similar roadways in Kentucky.

The latest plan calls for adding 6-and 8-foot wide sidewalks through almost four miles of the most-traveled section of the highway, from Greenwood Road to Crums Lane. Almost four miles of landscaped medians will also be added in that section, which experiences a high rate of crashes. This latest project is estimated to cost $30 million. 

Miles of new fiber optic cable are expected to link the entire corridor's traffic signals for the first time, and nearly 100 new trees along with native plants will be planted in an effort to help beautify the thoroughfare. 

John Callihan, the project manager with the city of Louisville, says taller medians will prevent people from driving over them and turning at so many locations.

“Across the nation, we typically see about a 30 percent or greater reduction in accidents when medians like this are introduced into the roadway,” Callihan said.

People living in the area say the project is long overdue.

"It's very much needed for the pedestrians and drivers," said Dawanna Ballanger, who lives near Dixie Highway. "It's dangerous at night."

Construction on the newest section should begin by the end of the year. The project manager says it will not be finished until September of 2019.

Part of the project is funded by a federal grant that was acquired by the city in 2015. All of the projects along the Dixie Highway corridor equal about a $50 million total investment. 

Related Stories:

Residents feel dangerous section of Dixie Highway is being left out of new renovations

'Dixie Do-over' expected to bring in more businesses

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