Land Between the Lakesladams2020-10-15T10:30:06-04:00
Land Between the Lakes
Marshall & Trigg Counties, Kentucky
As part of America’s great outdoors since 1963, Land Between the Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area comprises over 170,000 acres of forests, wetlands, and open lands on a peninsula between Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Western Kentucky and Tennessee.
The LBL area offers one of the largest blocks of undeveloped forest in the eastern United States and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Kentucky. With 300 miles of natural shoreline, lake access provides idyllic settings for camping, picnicking, hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, and water sports.
The project is an eight-miles long segment in a series of projects that will enable better, safer access to LBL for the growing number of visitors to the region – currently 1.4 million visitors annually. Qk4, as part of the Rogers Group Design Build team, designed an eight-mile section of US 68/KY 80 through the Land Between The Lakes, thereby providing four-lane east/west access to the mainland.
Because widening from two to four lanes can result in excessive cuts and fills and unwanted environmental impacts, we designed the roadway widening through the use of bifurcated design segments. A bifurcated alignment pattern allows for the existing two lane bi-directional roadway to be converted to a single direction, with a new separate bifurcated roadway alignment serving as the opposite single direction route.
With bifurcation and separation, the cuts and fills and resulting impacts can be minimized and the new segment designed independently to better fit the challenging terrain.
Another benefit of the bifurcated design and construction is that it saves money through reduced earthwork and maintenance of traffic costs. Imagine trying to keep over one million visitors moving through LBL during construction. Our approach enabled that to happen.
Most important of all, though, the bifurcated roadway helped us limit impacts to the Land Between The Lakes’ environmentally diverse and sensitive terrain.
As you can imagine, the environmental permitting was complicated and involved extensive coordination with the US Forest Service, the US Corps of Engineers, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Other complexities of the project included maintenance of traffic, erosion control, and drainage.
The roadway design included a modified diamond interchange at US 68 and KY 453 (the Trace) and a multi-use path through the length of the 8-mile stretch.