Kentucky Speedway construction begins


by Adam Walser

Posted on January 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 23 at 7:02 PM

(WHAS11) -- Construction is well underway in front of the Kentucky Speedway.
Officials hope to have a new tunnel and wider lanes finished by April 1, all in an effort to avoid last year's traffic nightmare.
Construction started last Wednesday on the project, which is expected to be completed well in advance of 2012’s upcoming Sprint Cup race.
"I've never seen so many people in Sparta. It was kind of crazy," Stacie Roberts of Sparta BP said.
She said she knew before the race that the Kentucky Speedway couldn't handle all the traffic.
"We were all wondering where's everybody gonna go,” Roberts said. “There's not a lot here."

After I-71 turned into a parking lot and hundreds of fans missed the race, the state got involved.
Back in August, a barn came down and bulldozers began grading a new parking lot where farmland used to be.
"It's gonna be somewhere in the vicinity of 12,000 to 15,000 more parking spaces available," Kentucky Speedway spokesman Tim Bray said.
Last Wednesday, roadwork began on Highway 35, where crews began building a new tunnel connecting the new parking lot to the Speedway.
It is scheduled to be completed within 75 days.
The $3.7 Million project also calls for two lanes to be added to Highway 35 and an additional lane to be added to the Southbound I-71 exit ramp.
"We're gonna be able to park a lot more cars and get people off the interstate quicker and it's gonna be much more efficient around here because of the land use and how we are going to be able to distribute that car load," Bray said.
The Sprint Cup race in 2012 is scheduled for June 30.