Dixie Highway to close once again in area of derailment, people evacuated
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Emergency management officials said a section of Dixie Highway will be closed once again to clear tanker cars that derailed two weeks ago.
A plan to move and reload the hydrogen fluoride and butadiene rail tank cars has been approved. The work and will begin on Tuesday at 6 a.m.
While the work is taking place the Louisville Metro Emergency Management Agency said Dixie Highway from the Salt River Bridge near West Point north to Highway 44 will be closed.
The closure will last until the work is completed.
Tim Shively is packed up and ready to leave his West Point home. He lives in one of the 31 houses that must evacuate.
"It is what it is, you just have to bear with it and do the best you can, just take what we're given and do the best you can with it," said Shively.
P & L Railway is helping with hotel, food, and gas costs. This time around only a half mile evacuation will be put into effect while workers start emptying the hazardous chemicals out of the derailed train cars. River traffic will be stopped during the transfer of hydrogen fluoride and butadiene.
Dixie Highway from Highway 44 to the bridge at Salt River will be closed starting at 6:00 Tuesday morning.
"With all the traffic that we have going southbound on 31-W, it now doubles our traffic," said Officer Bryce Shumate, Radcliff Police.
Radcliff Police say the heaviest traffic will be during the evening rush hour. Officers responded to several accidents when this portion of Dixie Highway shut down the first time, now they're hoping drivers will be prepared.
"The real concern is that a lot of our crashes that were going on throughout the city seemed to be caused by driver inattention," said Shumate.
As for Shively, even though this adds an extra 35 minutes to his commute to Louisville for work, he remains positive.
"I'm ready for it to be done, but I don't want to risk my life by sitting here with the chance of something happening either, so I understand the reason they are evacuating the half mile radius," said Shively.
West Point Independent Schools will be closed on Tuesday. However, Nichols Elementary and all other Bullitt County Schools will be in session.
A P & L outreach center in West Point will be closed on Tuesday. The claims outreach center will be open at the VFW on Blevins Gap Road.
During the closure drivers will be able to detour around the closure via the Snyder Freeway to I-65 South to the Joe Prather Highway (KY 313) back to Dixie Highway to access the area south of West Point. Drivers can use the reverse of that route if driving to Louisville.
Drivers should plan extra time if your commute takes you in or around this area.