More than 120 attend public info meeting about safety improvements to U.S. 68 corridor

DRAFFENVILLE, Ky. (KBSI) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet held a public information meeting Tuesday to update residents and gather input on a safety enhancement project that includes the addition of roundabouts along US 68 from I-69-South ramps to US 641-South at Draffenville in Marshall County.

More than 120 citizens attended the session. The meeting was held in the Marshall County High School Gym Upper Commons area from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The high school is at 416 High School Road, Benton, Ky.

Participants were able to view a video and exhibits that outlined how roundabouts work and the specific route and placement of the roundabouts. Attendees also had the opportunity to talk directly with the project team and ask questions about how the proposal may impact them.

The US 68 Marshall County Roundabouts project will consist of adding four new roundabouts and two new U-turn lanes, according to KYTC. Each new roundabout will replace an existing four-way, signalized intersection along the US 68 corridor, from I-69S to US 641S. A raised center median will also divide the east/west lanes of US 68 along the route to eliminate risky left-hand turns.

The project runs along the U.S. 68 Corridor from the I-69 Exit 47 southbound ramp at mile point 9.384, extending eastward to U.S. 641 South at mile point 10.078, a distance of about 7/10s of a mile. The corridor includes U.S. 68 intersections with Wellness Way/Carroll Road, Gate Road, U.S. 641 North, and French Drive. On average, more than 13,500 vehicles travel this section of U.S. 68 daily. About 13 percent of that traffic is trucks.

There have been 148 crashes resulting in 21 injuries over the past five years along the one-mile-stretch of US 68 from I-69S to US 641S.

“Improving safety is our number one priority for this project, and roundabouts are a proven countermeasure for enhancing traffic safety and flow along highly-traveled roadways and intersections,” said KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Kyle Poat.

Poat says that 33 percent of the overall crashes and 40 percent of the injury crashes in that time frame could have been prevented if roundabouts and a raised center median had been in place.

KYTC has been exploring options to address significant safety concerns in this area since June 2020.

Several other alternative proposals were considered and evalutated, but those options cost more, required acquiring more land reduced parking availability, potentially eliminated some businesses, and did not enhance safety as well as the proposed roundabouts, according to KYTC.

A roundabout is a one-way circular intersection in which traffic moves counterclockwise around a center island. Roundabouts do not have traffic signals or stop signs, which allows for continuous traffic flow and increased vehicle capacity. Residents also heard about the many benefits of roundabouts when compared to traditional intersections, such as enhancing traffic safety, flow and efficiency, and reducing drive time, pollution and taxpayer dollars.

The project is being funded by the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). Construction is expected to begin in 2024. Work will be phased in to minimize impacts to commuters, businesses and schools during construction, according to KYTC.

For anyone who was unable to attend the public meeting, project renderings and other display materials are available online at and at the KYTC District 1 Office in Paducah. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Displays and materials on the project will be available for review at the KYTC District 1 Office in Paducah following the meeting. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Comments will be accepted online and at the District 1 Office until March 28, 2023. Comments also may be submitted by mail before that date to Chris Kuntz, Branch Manager Project Development, KYTC District 1 Office, 5501 Kentucky Dam Rd., Paducah, KY 42003.

All written comments will become part of the official meeting record. Once compiled, the meeting record and supporting documentation will be made available for review and copying after an Open Records request has been received and approved. Open Records requests must be submitted to the Transportation Cabinet, Office of Legal Services, Transportation Office Building, 200 Mero St., Frankfort, KY 40622, or via email to

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