Eager to prove that the traffic problems which led to many fans being turned away from its first NASCAR Sprint Cup race last year have been solved, Kentucky Speedway officials outlined a multi-point traffic plan to be directed by the Kentucky State Police for this weekend's Quaker State 400.
The plan will utilize infrastructure projects completed by the state government, Kentucky Speedway and parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc., that widened the Interstate 71 exit ramp to Kentucky Highway 35 to three lanes, expanded Hwy. 35 to seven lanes, yielded parking for an estimated 20,000 additional vehicles and constructed a pedestrian tunnel which connects 170 acres of new parking to the original speedway property.
Captain Dean Hayes, Trooper Brad Arterburn and Trooper Michael Webb presented the plan which calls for KSP to control all parking operations, station a trooper in each parking lot and direct 300 attendants employed by a new parking service contracted by Kentucky Speedway.
KSP will additionally manage Quaker State 400 traffic by establishing a contraflow lane on northbound I-71 which will allow non-event traffic traveling southbound to safely bypass the speedway and decrease the potential for delays. State police will additionally divert as much commercial traffic as possible from I-71 to Interstate 64 and Interstate 75 with highway signage.
Speedway guests traveling southbound on I-71 will be directed to Exit 57, where police will utilize cones, signs and six lanes of Ky. Hwy. 35 to funnel traffic into the new Ford parking areas created on 170 acres of land just east of the speedway as well as lots accessible from Kentucky Speedway Entrance 3. Traffic traveling northbound on I-71 will access new and original Kentucky Speedway parking lots via I-71 Exit 55, state Route 1039 and the venue's Speedway Blvd.
All traffic entering the venue from access roads will be parked simultaneously.
"Each car will be directed to a specific location in each parking lot," Hayes said. "Our goal is to keep a constant vehicular movement in each open parking lot. Our team is committed to getting this right and we will."
KSP and Kentucky Speedway will utilize a media mix of local outlets, roadside message boards, Facebook and Twitter to provide fans traffic updates every 30 minutes or as necessary on Quaker State 400 race day. Fans will be able to follow @kystatepolice and @KySpeedway on Twitter along with finding "Kentucky State Police" and "Kentucky Speedway" on Facebook. Fans within five miles of the track can tune to information radio 1620 AM.
Following the Quaker State 400, exterior traffic will be held 30 minutes to allow pedestrians to safely return to their vehicles. Infield traffic will be held 90 minutes to reduce congestion.