SPARTA, Ky. - Kentucky State Police (KSP) have unveiled a new Kentucky Speedway traffic control plan that they say will eliminate problems during last year's Quake State 400 race.
"The key is parking," said Dean Hayes of Kentucky State Police. "We've got to get people off the highways and into their parking spaces as quickly as possible."
To do that the speedway spent $10 million to add 20,000 parking spaces along KY-35 just across from the track for the June 30 race. A new parking company has been hired and extensive traffic modeling has been done.
KSP will have troopers stationed at every parking lot at the speedway. Those troopers will be in charge in more than 300 parking lot attendants, double the amount of last year.
Kentucky invested $3.5 million to add an extra lane from the southbound I-71 ramp to KY-35, widened the state route to five lanes plus two paved shoulders and built a pedestrian tunnel under the road for fan safety.
Once drivers reach KY-35, they'll be in a lane that will lead to a specific parking lot. Officials say that should improve the traffic flow.
Gates at the speedway will open at noon, two hours earlier than last year. People are urged to get to the speedway early and take advantage of all the pre-race festivities.
Fans heading to the race will also be able to stay up-to-date on traffic through the track's Facebook page or Twitter account. People within five miles of the speedway will also be able to hear traffic updates on AM-1620.
Other changes include:
- Asking, not requiring trucks and commercial traffic not to use I-71 near the speedway on race day.
- Signs already in place along southbound I-71 to remind people of traffic delays.
A diagram of the specific traffic plan will be released later Thursday afternoon.
For more information go to http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com/ .