To reduce crashes, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KTC) engineers in District 8 recently installed RoadQuake 2 Temporary Rumble Strip arrays near Albany, Ky.
Albany is located in the southern part of the state, about 6 miles north of the Tennessee border. It is about 120 miles south of Lexington and 130 miles north and east of Nashville.
A large construction project is currently under way to improve the U.S. 127 corridor in the Lake Cumberland area. Construction runs from KY 90, in Clinton County, just north of Albany. It ends at Jamestown Bypass, in Russell County, about 20 miles north of KY 90.
U.S. 127 has been relocated for most of the 20-mile project.
U.S. 127 was considered substandard in design, with significant curves, access points, 10-ft-wide lanes and limited sight distances for passing. Also, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommended moving U.S. 127 from the top of Wolf Creek Dam to better facilitate national security interests and dam operations.
“Old” U.S. 127 ran through Albany. As part of the relocation plan, “New” U.S. 127 bypasses Albany and is located west of town. Old 127 is now a business route.
The rerouted U.S. highway has created new traffic issues, as expected. Where there once were farmlands or woods, there is now a two-lane highway that crosses squarely in the path of several rural roads.
Traffic must now stop before crossing New U.S. 127. And as human behavior can be quite difficult to change, some drivers have simply not recognized or acknowledged new traffic signals or stop signs. As a result, there have been three or four accidents in recent weeks at certain intersections.
Specifically, accidents have occurred where Wisdom Dock Road (553) meets 127 and where Wolf River Dock Road (738) meets 127.
To reduce accidents, KTC District 8 engineers installed temporary traffic control devices near those intersections.
Engineers first placed an orange “Rumble Strips Ahead” sign about 1,000 ft before the intersection, on the south side of Wisdom Dock Road, as drivers approach the intersection.
Orange “Stop Ahead” warning signs, 7 ft tall, were placed about 500 ft before the intersection, on both sides of the road. Two orange caution flags fly from each sign to further capture drivers’ attention.
An array of RoadQuake 2 Temporary Portable Rumble Strips was installed about 300 ft before 127. The array is made up of three strips, set 5 ft apart. Each strip, 11 ft long, traverses the entire lane. Three sections of RoadQuake 2 were assembled to make each 11-ft strip.
Designed to alert drivers to changing road conditions, the rumble strip array produces the same levels of sound and vibration as cut-in-place or milled-in rumble strips. Drivers traveling east on Wisdom Dock Road will hear and feel significant warnings that road conditions are about to change, which in this case is 127 itself.
The rumble strip array is a temporary device; no glue, nails or adhesives are required for installation. When local drivers adapt to the new traffic patterns, the rumble strip array can be removed quickly, without any damage to the road surface. As the device is temporary, it can be used over and over again.
District 8 engineers also installed devices on Wolf River Dock Road. At a particularly harsh curve, they added a portable changeable message sign to warn drivers of the stop ahead.
The new traffic control devices have been in place for several weeks, with only one accident reported. Though too early to claim success, results thus far are promising.