Lt. Gov. Coleman Presents $875,000 in Safety Funding for Five Louisville Schools, Campuses
Projects to benefit UofL, JCTC, Western Middle, Byck Elementary, Crums Lane Elementary
LOUISVILLE, KY (STL.News) In Louisville today, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman presented a ceremonial check for $875,000 from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), representing a commitment to make traffic safety improvements at or near the University of Louisville and four other campuses.
“I’m an educator and your Lieutenant Governor, and I’m also the mom of a daughter who will be in preschool before I know it and two sons who are in college,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “For my kids and for all of our kids, I want to make sure our schools and campuses are safe for our students, from young children to young adults. These investments are going to make such a difference for these five schools and the community they are a part of.”
In April, Gov. Andy Beshear announced plans to invest nearly $23 million in highway safety projects near schools to protect students, educators and families. The Governor charged KYTC with targeting sites and setting priorities for the projects, using state funding allocated in the 2020 Kentucky Highway Plan. Nearly 70 safety improvement projects have been identified. The full list can be viewed here.
Part of the funding being presented today – $150,000 – is being applied to a project to install a height-detection warning system on Winkler Avenue and Third Street, near the University of Louisville campus, for traffic approaching a low-clearance railroad bridge at Third Street. The bridge has become locally notorious – nicknamed “the Can Opener” – because of too-tall commercial vehicles that try to pass under it, only to become wedged, blocking a busy thoroughfare.
The warning system, a combination of signage and flashing lights, would be deployed on Winkler Avenue and Third Street to alert traffic approaching from the south. A warning system already is in place on Eastern Parkway for traffic approaching from the north.
“We hope the addition of a second height-detection warning system will finally put an end to large trucks getting caught under this bridge,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said.
Other safety projects will be undertaken on U.S. Route 150 at: Kentucky Route 1020, near Jefferson Community and Technical College; West Broadway at South 24th Street, near Byck Elementary School; U.S. 150 at U.S. Route 31W, near Western Middle School; and Kentucky Route 1934 at South Crums Lane, near Crums Lane Elementary School.
“Louisville produces extensive daily traffic as the most populous city in the state,” said State Senator Gerald Neal, who represents part of Jefferson County. “It is vital we invest in safety measures that protect our students while also protecting our citizens on the roadways. I appreciate Gov. Beshear and Lt. Gov. Coleman for recognizing that and making improvements a priority.”
“I am proud to welcome Lt. Gov. Coleman to the 44th House District and want to thank her and the Beshear Administration for making this critical school-safety highway funding available,” said Kentucky House Minority Floor Leader Joni Jenkins, who represents part of Jefferson County. “This money will go a long way toward improving the safety of students and staff alike at these schools and colleges. They and many others and I are looking forward to the day when this project is complete.”
KYTC engineers will study each location and tailor a plan to make each safer for pedestrians and motorists. Possible improvements include new pavement and crosswalk striping and signage, additional speed limit signage, enhanced street lighting and retrofitting traffic signal heads with highly reflective backplates that make signal lights stand out, especially amid visual clutter in the surrounding skyline, and have been shown to help reduce crashes.
“These individual projects are in the early planning stages, with many details to be worked out. But the result will be streets near school campuses made safer for pedestrians and motorists alike,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said.