Tuesday, August 30, 2011
KY Speedway, State Announce Traffic Improvements
Today, the track announced a multi-phased program aimed at improving traffic flow and parking for its 2012 Sprint Cup Series race. The project is headlined by the purchase of a 143-acre parcel of land that will expand parking capacity by approximately 35 percent. The track has also hired a new, more experienced company to manage traffic and parking; the same group enlisted by Daytona International Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Watkins Glen International.
The state of Kentucky has earmarked $3.6 million from its contingency fund to improve Interstate 71 and the southbound Exit 57 off-ramp; changes that will allow three lanes of traffic to exit KY Highway 35 and directly access speedway entrances on race days. Approximately one mile of KY 35 and .6-mile of KY 35 will be widened to five lanes with full-width shoulders, effectively providing seven lanes of two-way traffic to speed access and egress on race days. A tunnel will also be constructed beneath KY 35 to accommodate pedestrian traffic. Work on all projects is expected to be completed before next summer’s race.
“We learned meaningful lessons during our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend,” said Speedway GM Mark Simendinger, “and we committed that the traffic congestion that occurred on race day would not happen again. It was important for us to act quickly and I am thrilled to report this solution, which was formed in only seven short weeks.”
NASCAR President Mike Helton expressed happiness with the announcement, saying, “We’ve been in close touch with the track and its management since July, and the significant commitments announced today support the common goal of hosting the most successful events possible at Kentucky Speedway next season. We believe improvements like these are necessary in order to ensure that our fans have the opportunity for an enjoyable race experience. We appreciate these efforts and will continue to monitor the progress that is being made.”