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'The roadway is in complete disrepair': Drivers struggle on Highway 53

Shelby County residents said stretches of Highway 53 are too narrow and filled with cracks.

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. — When asked which stretch of road was the worst in Kentuckiana, Shelby County residents were quick to point out the failures of Highway 53.

“The roadway is in complete disrepair," John Hittle with Simpsonville Towing and Repair said. "It’s not wide enough, there’s no turn lanes, it’s not got enough lanes for the amount of traffic that’s on it.”

Drivers said stretches of the highway have too narrow of lanes for the amount of traffic traveling every day. Hittle, whose job it is to help stranded drivers in the area, said the area is dangerous to commuters and emergency crews like his own.

Hittle said most accidents occur in the rural parts of the highway, the areas filled with cracks and too narrow of lanes. When tow trucks come to help, the roadway gets even more dangerous for drivers.

“It’s actually extremely dangerous and a scary environment," Hittle said. "We’re standing out here...it’s just a few inches between us and a passing motorist that’s traveling anywhere from 60 to 80 miles an hour.”

Hittle said he's watched the winding roads of Highway 53 deteriorate over time as more drivers than ever before go much faster than the speed limit.

“All it takes is one little slip," Hittle said. “If you catch the edge of that road, you’re off in that ditch.”

While he has seen patches get filled, cracks and potholes continue to resurface as the road gets more and more use.

“We have multiple areas of Highway 53 that have never been developed for the amount of traffic we’re having," Hittle said. "When vehicles do catch the shoulder, they are crumbling the shoulder of the road and have no way to control their vehicle. That’s causing them to veer off the roadways and have accidents.”

What's the solution? Hittle suggests widening the roadway and introducing shoulder space, especially for emergencies, throughout the area.

Highway 53 is one of the four worst roads in Kentuckiana, per our viewers' selections. WHAS11 will spotlight all roads, and hold a vote for the worst road in the area, closing Thursday, Feb. 13 at midnight.

WHAS11 will also reach out to the departments in charge of the winning road to see how the area can be improved. Vote for the worst road in the area here:

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