In 2004 and 2005, I worked on a couple of stories about dangerous roads in LaRue County.
One of the most hazardous, according to data compiled by Kentucky State Police, is an area between the 16- and 17-mile markers on U.S. 31-E known as Devers Curve.
During 2004, the curve, smack dab in the center of young Abe Lincoln country, averaged a crash monthly.
Many of the crashes caused injuries and some caused deaths.
Just a little way down the road is Enlow’s Curve – almost as notorious as Dever’s Curve in terms of crashes.
A false assumption is that alcohol is a factor in many of the collisions because the curves are near the Nelson County line. Nelson County sells alcohol; LaRue County is dry.
However, the crashes that occur in that area are generally chalked up to inattention or speeding. In many cases, police could not determine a human factor at fault for the wreck, according to KSP.
The road is extremely slick when it rains and there is something about the grade of the roadway that makes it difficult for some drivers to maneuver.
The State Highway Department has made several improvements to the roadway since 2004 and the number of accidents has gone down.
But they haven’t gone away.
There is a possibility that the state will allocate funding to perform “curve repair and rehab work to pavement” on that strip of road. The 2012-14 biennial highway construction plan proposed by the House of Representatives in HB 266 allocates $375,000 for 2012 and $1.625 million for 2013.
Rep. Michael Meredith, who voted for the bill, said the “chances are good right now” for the bill to be passed by the Senate.
Meredith was excited also about the possibility of Interstate 65 being widened to six lanes in LaRue and Hart Counties and the scoping study proposed for improvements to Ky. 222. There is a proposal also for a salt storage facility listed in a line item in the transportation budget.
No one can deny the importance of I-65 for our present economy and the hope that Ky. 222, the connector between LaRue County and Glendale, will be important to our future livelihood. The 1,551-acre Glendale site, set aside for a large manufacturer, is closer to Hodgenville by way of Ky. 222 than it is to Elizabethtown. It’s a perfect location to benefit LaRue Countians and we’d love to see plenty of jobs open up for our young people.
Meredith went as far as to say Ky. 222 project is “probably the most important” for LaRue County.
It probably is.
But … on behalf of the many people who have lost loved ones or been injured in the Devers Curve area … I’d like to see that project completed first. It’s not the most-traveled road, but for many of us, it’s closest to home.