How safe is Spaghetti Junction? Officials reviewing the turns after 3 semi crashes

Reviewing Spaghetti Junction

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For years, Spaghetti Junction was the site of crashes, but after a multi-million-dollar rework is it any safer? The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is taking a closer look to find out.

Dale Neathery explains when it comes to driving a semi, there's a lot more to it than just the shape of the road.

"You have to figure out what this person over here is going to do, you're watching the merging of the traffic, and that ain't counting the shifting of the gears and what is in front of you and what is behind you,” Neathery said.

That's why, as a trainer at Truck Training America, he teaches his students about turns like the ones you see at Spaghetti Junction near downtown Louisville.

"We teach them about a great deal about turns and curves and setting yourself up way before you get into something like that,” Neathery said.

He said the turns were too sharp for semis before the reconstruction, but since the reopening earlier this year it’s gotten better.

"It was a nightmare,” he said.

But three recent crashes have the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet wondering if there's still a problem.

In July, glue coated part of the interstate after a semi tipped on the turn. The sticky spill shut down the interchange for nearly a day.

A few weeks later another semi ran into trouble, dumping a load of livestock after crashing into the interchange wall.

Just last week there was a third accident. This time it was a fiery crash, but luckily no one was hurt.

Now, the transportation cabinet is taking a closer look at what went wrong by examining the crash reports to find the causes, and doing a mechanical analysis on all of the curves.

KYTC is taking the following steps regarding review of recent crashes on the I-64 West to I-65 South ramp:

  • reviewing LMPD crash reports to determine the cause of the crashes
  • installing arrows on the pavement in the curve to provide additional warning that the lane drops and they need to merge left (signs are already in place)
  • discussing with TRIMARC to see if they have noticed any issues that might be contributing to these crashes
  • mechanical analysis on all of the curves in the new footprint of the downtown crossing to determine safe operating speeds

All in hopes that drivers like Neathery will be safe when taking on Louisville's lanes.

Cabinet officials said they will be painting arrows on the lanes in the coming weeks but drivers will not see any new signs until the review is done and it is determined that they need them to make the interchange safer.

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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