By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
The city has begun work on improving the intersection at South Killarney Lane and the Eastern Bypass in Richmond where the presence of a gas station and three restaurants often causes dangerous congestion.
City Manager Jimmy Howard announced the project at Tuesday night’s city commission meeting. Work began on Monday and is expected to be completed next week.
Planning Director Jason Hart said his department went through several plans after talking with business owners near the intersection. The access roads in front of businesses on the Bypass are private property.
The plan decided upon was approved by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, he said.
Currently, cars that line up on the South Killarney side of the intersection often block the turn onto the access road in front of the Shell station that leads to the Waffle House or Casa Fiesta. People sometimes go through the intersection from North Killarney, turn around in the National College parking lot and cut around behind the Shell station to make it over to the restaurants, which Hart said was not safe.
With the opening last month of the nearby Cookout Burgers, the intersection has become even more congested.
The city’s plan is to better define the lanes and also to create a clearly marked three-way stop before the light on South Killarney and the Bypass
Landscape islands are being constructed along the South Killarney side of Shell to prevent vehicles from cutting through. Several signs will be placed at the three-way stop, similar to other types of three- and four-way stops on access roads on both sides of the Bypass, that tell drivers not to block the intersection, Hart said.
Stop bars, lines on the pavement that tell drivers where to stop before the light, and more clear lane lines will be painted on the roads leading up to the three-way stop and light.
Hart said there also will be two stacking lanes, which are multiple lanes for a single direction at traffic lights. Stacking lanes move more traffic through on the green light.
Downtown Association Coordinator Rose Rex gave an end-of-year presentation about work she and the association’s members have done to promote downtown businesses and events in 2013. In addition to starting a weekly Thursday Night Live, a once-a-month Family Fun & Fitness event also was implemented. Starting March 1, the Downtown Farmers Market will begin on First Street each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The commission heard a report from Richmond Salvation Army directors Capts. Mark and Sally Love. The number of children served by the 2013 Christmas Angel Tree was up 12 percent from last year, and 466 families were provided with food baskets. Also, 843 stuffed stockings were provided to community members in need.
In other matters, the commission:
• Accepted a $125,000 bid for reconstruction of a Richmond Fire Department rescue truck
• Heard first reading of an ordinance amending the budget for the Community Block grant for Liberty Place, adding $250,000 in unanticipated state funds to the project budget
• Passed an order allowing businesses with a Sunday alcoholic beverage sales license or retail malt beverage license to remain open until midnight on Superbowl Sunday
• Renewed a five-year agreement with the Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes Corporation allowing the company to pay the city $200,000 annually for primary fire protection in lieu of real estate taxes
• Passed an ordinance renaming Gilbert Drive in Dixie Plaza Mobile Home Park to Opal Drive. Another Gilbert Drive also exists in Richmond.
• Approved an order allowing the Richmond Little League to install lights on the senior ball field at Lake Reba park. Little League is paying for all costs related to the project.
• Endorsed the Parks Department’s application for a crumb rubber grant from the state for use as ground cover at E.C. Million Park
• Adopted a resolution to transfer right-of-way ownership of KY 2883 from the state to the city. The road runs behind IHOP restaurant and the Mattress Firm near Richmond Centre.
• Approved an order allowing 11 surplus MDT computers used by the Richmond Police Department to be donated to the Eubank Police Department and Leslie County Sheriff’s Department
• Re-appointed Wilma J. Walker and Adrienne Millett to four-year terms on the Madison Airport Board
• Hired Judy Wells VanWinkle as a part-time switchboard operator
• Accepted the retirement of Charlie “Chico” Smith from the Richmond Fire Department. He worked 15 years for the department.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6694.