It looks like the first of three planned roundabouts on outer Second Street/Zion Road — adjacent to Palmer’s Market and the main vehicle entrance to North Middle School — will be in place by late this summer.
But to allow for that construction work, significant traffic changes will soon begin on a stretch of outer Second Street near North Middle that will affect both motorists as well as pedestrians, such as students walking to and from school.
In addition, there will be a lane closure on a nearby highway for several months.
Here is what to expect in the coming days and months:
Second Street changes
Starting on or after this Friday, Feb. 2, motorists can expect lane shifts and narrower lanes on Second Street between Franklin Avenue (beside the Shell convenience store) and the U.S. 41 overpass, according to the I-69 Ohio River Crossing project office.
All four lanes of Second Street will be narrowed and shifted to the northern (North Middle) side of the Second Street roadway to allow work to begin on the south side of the roadway.
This lane configuration will be in place through early July. Drivers are encouraged to slow down and stay alert.
Meanwhile, Henderson County Schools announced that starting Monday, Feb. 5, the sidewalk on the south side of Second Street — beside Palmer’s and across from North Middle — will be closed because of the construction.
“Students walking between Henderson County High School and North Middle School must cross the street at the (U.S. 41 overpass) exit ramp traffic light and walk on the sidewalk located on the north (North Middle) side of the street,” according to a school system news release. “They may then cross back over at the Klutey Park Plaza traffic light. Students walking to or from North Middle School must cross at the Klutey Park Plaza traffic light.”
Kentucky 2084 lane closure
Meanwhile, a portion of northbound Kentucky 2084 (formerly U.S. 41-South) will soon be closed from near Airline Road/Kentucky 812 to outer Second Street/Kentucky 351 through early June. That’s the stretch of northbound roadway from just north of Newt’s Liquor Store and ending beside Palmer’s Market.
The closure is to start on or after this Friday, Feb. 2.
A signed detour will be in place directing northbound Kentucky 2084 traffic to divert to northbound U.S. 41. Once on U.S. 41 northbound, motorists can take the Zion Road exit (Exit 14, Ramp B) to access Kentucky 351/Zion Road.
Southbound Kentucky 2084 will remain open from Second Street/Kentucky 351 to Kentucky 812, but with a narrower driving lane.
These traffic changes are intended to allow construction crews “to complete the majority” of the roundabout just west of Palmer’s Market before the start of the 2024-2025 school year, which begins in early August, according to an announcement by the I-69 project office.
Actual dates and anticipated work may be adjusted if inclement weather or other unforeseen activities occur, it said.
Plans call for three consecutive roundabouts along outer Second Street/Zion Road as part of the multi-phase project to rebuild the so-called U.S. 41-Bypass and the Zion Road interchange to become part of Interstate 69 and, ultimately, tie into a new I-69 bridge across the Ohio River.
This first roundabout is forcing these changes this year for motorists and pedestrians.
Two more roundabouts will be built on either side of the highway overpass that is being reconstructed at the Zion Road interchange on the other (eastern) side of Palmer’s. Those two roundabouts will allow motorists to get on and off the future I-69 roadway, replacing the existing interchange ramps.
Traffic engineers say roundabouts force motorists to slow down at intersections and are safer than traditional intersections that use stop signs. But since these will be the first roundabouts constructed in Henderson, local motorists will be challenged to learn how to yield to and merge with other traffic.