Firm recommends widening Fairview Avenue to five lanes

Published: Mar. 19, 2018 at 5:15 PM CDT
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A proposal for improving traffic flow and safety on Fairview Avenue in Bowling Green is in the works.

According to Ben Peterson, Executive Director of the City County Planning Commission, a firm called Strand Associates, has been working on a study in the area for the last several months.

Consultants with the firm came up with various ideas to improve the roadway, and ended up recommending Fairview Avenue be widened to five lanes.

This widening would essentially extend the turn lane down the road from Hayes Lane to the intersection at the 31-W Bypass. The only exception where the road would remain at four lanes is in the area of the Fairview Cemetery.

Currently, this is just in the proposal stage, but after a public meeting last week, leaders say the community seems to like the idea of widening the road.

"I think everybody recognizes that there has to be improvements made on this road. One of the things we found out in the first part of this study was that if we do nothing then the road would be roughly at gridlock in the very near future," says Peterson.

He adds, "I think it needs to be done. I personally drive this way every day to work and of course peak hours, which we look at, another term for rush hours, obviously traffic can get backed up pretty far."

Peterson goes on to talk about safety being a concern, and says the consultants found Fairview Avenue had a crash rate above the statewide average for roadways with the same characteristics.

Chad Bourke, an engineer and project manager with Strand Associates say consultants tried looking at what the best option would be for the next 20 years for Fairview Avenue.

"In 2039 the Bypass intersection basically reaches its capacity and beyond that year, we would be looking at the need for either six lanes on the Bypass or six lanes on Fairview Avenue," says Bourke.

As of now, the firm is recommending the five lane proposal instead of a six lane proposal in order to minimize any impacts to parking spaces and businesses in the area.

Peterson says with this current proposal, the cost is estimated to be between 15 and 16 million dollars. Consultants say the project would likely be done in three separate parts.

Peterson adds that it could take some time before this moves from a proposal/concept phase and actually gets into the design phase.

"Could be a minimum of two years but likely longer than that," he adds.

He says that if the proposal does go through and a budget is approved, construction could cause a bit of a mess for a while, but that's what people would have to wait through in order to get a wider road in the long run.

Consultants are also looking at adding a round-about or a traditional intersection near Kereiakes Park. The public can vote for which option they think is best at this link: