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Fort Mitchell is making its section of I-75 rougher on purpose (and it's a good thing)

Posted at 8:30 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 20:30:45-05

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. — Sue Sands has been avoiding Interstate 75 her entire life, she said Tuesday. The section of highway that passes through Fort Mitchell is just too dangerous.

“(It’s) because of the traffic and because of crazy drivers going too fast,” she said.

Plus the semitrailer crashes, of which there have been 15 since the beginning of 2019. The most recent destroyed about 70 feet of concrete barrier dividing opposite lanes of traffic and prompted county officials to declare the span “extremely dangerous to motorists” until it had been repaired.

The repairs start Friday at 9 p.m., and an unusual piece of machinery — a SkidaBrader shotblaster, informally called the “concrete cruncher” — will take the lead.

The metal behemoth’s job: Chew up a portion of the highway to make it more rough and textured, which officials believe will give tires more traction and prevent the skids that turn into rollovers.

The machine will crunch 9 p.m.— 5 a.m. Friday and continue on the same schedule until Tuesday, when the $130,000 project should be finished. After that, other repairs start, including the restoration of the concrete barrier separating lanes of traffic.

Sands said the area is so troubled she’s open to (but not optimistic about) any attempted improvement.

"It would probably help,” she said. “But I know, living in the area all my life, that they corrected the curve there at Fort Mitchell years and years ago, saying that would fix a problem, and it hasn’t.”