Southland Drive seeing new life with improvement project

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington city leaders hope a new streetscape will improve safety and attract investment along a core street inside the center city.

Mayor Linda Gorton and Councilmembers Amanda Mays Bledsoe, Jennifer Reynolds and Mark Swanson, who represent different sections of Southland Drive, officially celebrated the completion of the $2.1 million Southland Drive corridor project, which was designed to improve pedestrian safety and encourage economic activity along the corridor.

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“This project has transformed and revitalized Southland Drive,” Gorton said. “This busy corridor was showing its age. Now it’s a beautiful, safe place to walk or cycle, and an even more attractive place to shop.”

Improvements include:

  • Six-foot wide sidewalks on both sides of Southland Drive, from Nicholasville Road to Rosemont Garden
  • More than 120 new trees, along with numerous shrubs and plants
  • A gardenscape replacing the concrete ditch east of the railroad overpass
  • Eleven temporary art installations

The Division of Traffic Engineering upgraded traffic signals at Southview and Cherrybark Drives, added pedestrian signals at Regency Road and added two mid-block crossings on Southland.

Additionally, the city’s Division of Streets and Roads resurfaced a 2,400-foot stretch of Southland Drive from Nicholasville Road and the railroad bridge using environmentally friendly rubberized asphalt. The section between the bridge and Rosemont Garden was resurfaced with traditional asphalt.

A mural will be painted on the railroad overpass next spring. The mural and temporary art installations were coordinated by LexArts.

Keith Lovan, Municipal Engineer Senior in the Division of Engineering, who served as project manager, says all the improvements will have a significant impact and will safely handle the anticipated increased number of walkers and bikers in the area.