Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Getting to races gets easier

Interchange set to open near Speedway

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPARTA — The new fast-tracked interchange near the Kentucky Speedway will be done just in time for this weekend's truck races, midget car races and Chely Wright concert.

        Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton will officially open the interchange — the first portion of a $35.8 million highway project from Interstate 71 to U.S. 42 — at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

        That's two days before a flood of racing fans gets on the highway to the first races in the Speedway's third season.

        The construction, on the state's six-year highway plan drawing board for some time, was fast-tracked after the Speedway's troubled grand opening. Fans were stuck in traffic and mud for hours following a torrential rain that turned parking lots into mud pits.

        The construction project includes the widening of a section of I-71 for an additional lane in Gallatin County to move traffic more quickly and safely into the speedway interchange at Ky. 35 during racing events and concerts.

        The new interchange and connector road, which will run to the Markland Dam Bridge linking Kentucky with Indiana near Vevay, will benefit a number of businesses on both sides of the river.

        When complete, it also will provide a quicker path to Belterra Casino & Resort for people from Lexington, Louisville's east side, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

        On Friday, the ARCA Lincoln Welder Truck Series, the USAC National Midget Car Series and the Baby Grand Series Stock Cars “The Auto Body Panels Short Track Special” are planned.

        On Saturday, the ARCA RE/MAX Series “Channel 5-155” is planned, with a performance by Chely Wright.


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