Kentucky Speedway officials say traffic problems will be gone

SPARTA, KY (FOX19) - Kentucky Speedway officials say the traffic mess race fans saw last year for the Quaker State 400 will be eliminated thanks to millions of dollars in improvements and a sophisticated traffic management plan.

"In retrospect, we needed more lanes, we needed more parking lots, more parking spaces," said Mark Simendinger, Kentucky Speedway GM. "We need more people, we needed more of everything."

Dirt is moving around Kentucky's largest sporting venue to widen ramps, roads and highways.

Also the speedway has purchased 170 new acres of farm land to construct nearly 20,000 additional parking spaces.

"We've spend $130 million since I've bought this facility," said Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports. "It is a huge expenditure of funds but we are building something that the state of Kentucky is proud of and we're proud of it and we'll continue to make it better."

Speedway officials say after last year they wanted to be ready for any possible traffic scenario, so they hired a company called Stantec to create traffic simulation models. The models are to actual scale and show traffic in real time as if it were race day.

"As you see very detailed and able to provide you specific answers and let you analyze a lot of what if scenarios," said Mark Butler, Senior Transportation Planner with Stantec.

The Kentucky State Police also have a major role in fixing the Speedway's traffic issues.

"We'll have more troopers assigned to the speedway track itself, as far as the parking areas," said Capt. Dean Hayes. "We'll have more at intersections to make sure the traffic is flowing as designed."

Copyright 2012 WXIX. All rights reserved.