Stretch of New Circle Road to get Upgrade to Prevent Head-On Crashes
A dangerous stretch of Lexington’s loop is getting a concrete barrier to keep cars from crossing the median and hitting head-on.
New Circle Road is a limited-access divided highway that forms a 19-mile loop around Lexington which helps commuters get to different points of the city faster and with fewer stops. In all but 1.2 miles of the loop, there is some barrier between the inner and outer loop that keeps cars from crossing into the oncoming lane.
Even though this is a small stretch that doesn’t’ have either a cable fence or concrete barrier, the gap is big enough to pose a danger to motorists.
Car Misses Guardrail Crosses Median and Hits Car Head-On
Wednesday, February 26, 2020, a car crossed over the median in that gap near Leestown Road and struck another car head-on and then flipped over killing two people that were inside that car. Several people from the second car were taken to the hospital with varying injuries, and everyone is expected to recover.
Tragically, the accident happened just 800 feet from the end of the existing barrier.
A Long-Time Coming
Officials say that the plans have been in the works for years, but funding has always remained an obstacle until now. The new $50 million project will create six lanes and a middle concrete barrier in that stretch of road at Leestown Road and run to Georgetown Road. The final plans are being made now will be finalized in April of 2020 with actual construction to begin in 2024.
Project officials admitted that the need has always been there to extend the median the rest of the way, but money issues had prevented that from becoming a reality.
The loop is a state-owned and controlled road and as such escapes federal law that requires a median barrier on all freeways in urban regions. Had the barrier been in place, it seems like this accident would have been prevented.
Hopefully, the project will stay on track so motorists will have an extra line of defense against cars crossing the median into oncoming traffic.