semi overturned 71 SB ramp to SB 65 - 7-19-19 2.jpg

A semi overturned on the ramp from I-71 South to I-65 South, July 19, 2019 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Federal authorities have given Kentucky the go-ahead to begin crafting plans to improve safety in a troubled section of “Spaghetti Junction” near downtown Louisville.

The Federal Highway Administration granted the “preliminary approval,” letting the state proceed with developing a contract and design work for a project at the ramp from I-64 West and I-71 South to I-65 South, said Andrea Clifford, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Plans call for overhead signs at the ramp, new interstate logos on the road’s surface and new pavement markers that give drivers more time to adjust as the ramp’s lanes narrow. Clifford said there’s no timetable for the work.

The federal agency also asked for some additional analysis, but Clifford declined to elaborate.

“They have a couple of things that they want us to take a look at, and so our staff is involved in doing that right now,” she said.  

The junction, where I-64, I-65 and I-71 converge, was rebuilt in 2016 as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project. But since then there have been a number of high-profile truck wrecks on the ramp that once was known as “dead man’s curve.”

Four crashes happened there in June, capping a two-month stretch with at least eight crashes. Last week, the ramp was closed twice during wrecks.

WDRB News first reported the state’s proposal for the ramp earlier this month. Kentucky officials also plan to review the entire junction.

Related: SUNDAY EDITION | Kentucky seeks federal OK for ‘Spaghetti Junction’ changes after truck crashes

Reach reporter Marcus Green at 502-585-0825, mgreen@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2019 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.

Digital Reporter

Marcus Green joined WDRB News in 2013 after 12 years as a staff writer at the Louisville Courier-Journal. He reports on transportation, development and local and state government.