Beech Bend Road expansion to address traffic issues

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Beech Bend Park sees thousands of people visit every year, but one issue there seems to have gotten worse – traffic.

“We’ve known this has been a problem for quite some time,” said Josh Moore, director for Warren County Department of Public Works.

There’s only one entrance and one exit to the park and drag strip.

“Beech Bend Road is really the only way in to Beech Bend Park,” Moore added.

The lack of lanes has led to lengthy traffic jams and delays for visitors attending major events at the most, most notably Holly LS Fest where guests had to wait hours in line just to get in to the park.

“We saw some congestion issues that got larger,” said Moore. “There was more backup of traffic than we’d seen in the past.”

Officials had discussed addressing this issue, but didn’t previously have the necessary funds for the project until this week.

On Wednesday, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin announced that Warren County will receive $252,500 of discretionary funding to pay for the expansion of Beech Bend Road, starting at Garvin Lane.

“Add a third lane from Garvin Lane into the park which would allow, with law enforcement assistance, two lanes of traffic in from the Louisville Road area, and then those that are trying to exit the facility could come out in that new third lane,” Moore said.

The project is planned to begin in November with a target end date of mid-to-late April, just in time for the busy season at Beech Bend Park.

“We think this might be enough to get through the next larger events that are proposed to be there until some longer term project could be moved forward,” said Moore.

Each lane will be expanded on the road instead of creating a brand new lane.

“We’ll actually widen a bit to each side and then re-stripe the lanes so that you still have two in and one out, but they’re not in the exact same location they are now,” said Moore.

The project is also meant to address the need of better access for emergency personnel.

“We want them to have a good experience,” said Moore. “We want them to feel safe and I think this is a good first step.”

The next steps in the future could potentially include the widening of the entirety of Beech Bend Road, but there have only been preliminary discussions about that kind of project at this time.