FLORENCE, Ky. — A first-of-its-kind intersection is nearly open in Florence, and drivers will notice some left turns are being diverted. It's called a "jug handle" or half-loop configuration. It is expected to fully open at the intersection of U.S. 42 and Weaver Road in Florence by Tuesday. It includes a brand new road called Quadrant Road that branches off of U.S. 42 and curves around to connect to Weaver Road, like a jug handle.
"Right turns are easier to make, so we're eliminating the left turns at this signal, and we're putting the traffic on the Quadrant Road," said Nancy Wood, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The intersection of U.S. 42 and Weaver Road is one of the busiest intersections in northern Kentucky, she added — it carries 43,000 cars each day.
The old design "just wasn't allowing traffic to flow," according to Wood.
The new one, the first jug handle in Kentucky, transfers all of the left-turn drivers onto the new Quadrant Road. (Drivers turning right or continuing straight won't deal with any changes.) One key to the success of the configuration is for traffic lights to work together.
"With the synchronization of these signals, it's going to move traffic on the main line a lot quicker and get a lot more traffic through this intersection," Wood said.
Wood said the project, which cost $3.2 million, creates a safer and quicker way for traffic to get through because traffic signals at the main intersection of U.S. 42 and Weaver don't have to cycle through left turns.
"If (people) see it being a big benefit, it could lead to many more jug handles happening in our high congested areas," said Wood.