Kentucky Transportation Cabinet personnel are reporting an almost instant taffic surge once the Total Solar Eclipse ended.
Interchanges within the corridor have had traffic backups and there is an obvious surge of northbound traffic along the Pennyrile and I-69 northbound through the region.
We anticipate a northbound back up at the I-69 Mortons Gap Exit 108 Interchange were a work zone restricts traffic to one lane. While the southbound work zone could be alert to accommodate more traffic this morning, an excavation at the edge of the northbound lanes will require one lane traffic.
Motorists should consider using US 41 as an alternate route northward to avoid this backup.
This northbound surge is expected to reach the US 41 Twin Bridges in the next half hour, creating the likelihood of a backup for northbound traffic along the US 41 North Strip through Henderson. Motorists are advised to exercise patience and caution as traffic may see a significant slowdown at the Twin Bridges work zone.
Traffic has also picked up along sections of the I-24 corridor through the region.
Working with other agencies, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has identified and responded to a number of traffic issues around the region.
I-69 Southbound at the US 41 Twin Bridges- The work zone at this site has 10 ft. lanes and a 35 mph speed limit. Traffic is moving smoothly, but is backed up due to heavy volume. We anticipate a northbound backup at this site when we start outflow this afternoon.
I-69 southbound at Mortons Gap Exit 108 Interchange in Hopkins County- Due to excavations along the roadway the work zone lane restriction remained in place this morning. KYTC personnel have assisted the contractor in widening this work zone to allow two lanes of traffic, so the backup is expected to diminish shortly.
Southbound traffic on the Pennyrile Parkway exiting to the KY 1682/Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard Hopkinsville Byass is backing up on the ramp. Southbound traffic using this ramp has to make a left turn to go into Hopkinsville and head to the prime viewing areas for the Total Solar Eclipse. KYTC personnel are flagging traffic at the top of the ramp to provide better access to the KY 1682 Hopkinsville Bypass.
Southbound ramps at the Pennyrile Pkwy Exit 9 ramps to US 41 at Hopkinsville are also backed up, as well as US 41 into Hopkinsville. We think this is due to people following their GPS to viewing ares. Both Exit 8 and Exit 7 are clear of traffic at this time, so travelers can avoid the back up at Exit 9 by using these interchanges.
KYTC District 3 has Closed the northbound welcome center at the KY-TN State Line and Tennessee DOT has closed their southbound welcome center. Both have reached capacity.
We have a report of a northbound traffic backup on KY 115 just off I-24 at Oak Grove-Pembroke Exit 89. There is a large event venue in this area. We expect this backup with subside as visitors reach the venue.
Traffic flow along the entire 93-mile I-24 corridor in Kentucky remains near-normal.
Since this morning, we’ve seen a pretty good jump in traffic volumes, particularly along I-69 and the Pennyrile Parkway heading south toward Hopkinsville. However, traffic volumes continue to be well below what was anticipated. NASA predicted that up to 1/2 million people would travel to Western Kentucky for the Total Solar Eclipse.
Several groups traveling in from across the country also report traffic was light in the early morning hours, but traffic is picking up.
Southbound traffic on the Pennyrile Parkway exiting to the KY 1682/Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard Hopkinsville Bypass is backing up on the ramp. Southbound traffic using this ramp has to make a left turn to go into Hopkinsville and head to the prime viewing areas for the Total Solar Eclipse.
KYTC personnel are flagging traffic at the top of the ramp to provide better access to the KY 1682 Hopkinsville Bypass.
Motorists should use caution in this area and be alert for flaggers in the roadway.and be alert for flaggers in the roadway.
Overnight hotels in the Hopkinsville area were packed. Workers manning the RRCC reported seeing vehicles from about 17 states on the road this morning.
KYTC personnel and our law enforcement partners will continue to monitor traffic volumes. Flights to monitor traffic and provide video/photos will be almost continuous starting at 8 a.m., CDT. However, there will be a break in overflights around 10:30 a.m., CDT, to avoid conflicting with a NASA balloon launch from several locations around the region.
Timely traffic advisories for the 12 counties of KYTC Highway District 1 are available by going to facebook.com/kytcdistrict1 . You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.
Timely traffic advisories for the 11 counties of KYTC Highway District 2 are available by going to facebook.com/kytcdistrict2 . You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.
Navigate traffic with KYTC, www.511.ky.gov, and Waze, www.waze.com!