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, District 6.
The intersection of U.S. 42 and Weaver Road is one of the busiest intersections in northern Kentucky.
"This particular intersection sees over 43,000 cars daily. And, it just wasn't allowing traffic to flow," Wood said.
The new design, being used for the first time in Kentucky, transfers all of the left turn drivers onto the new Quadrant Road. There is no change for traffic turning right or continuing straight.
Construction crews spent time Monday preparing the area to be fully opened to traffic. 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 the intersection partly because traffic signals at the main intersection of U.S. 42 and Weaver don't have to cycle through left turns. If it's successful, other jug handles may be in the future.
"If they see it being a big benefit, it could lead to many more jug handles happening in our high congested areas," Wood said.