As promised, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Kentucky Speedway worked with the State of Kentucky to alleviate the ingress and egress problems that made last year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event a nightmare for many of the attendees.
Traffic flow getting into the facility caused monumental backups that caused a number of fans to miss the event altogether. To make things even worse, many of the fans that waited through the interminable gridlock could not find a place to park once they actually got to the speedway.
Having completed the majority of the project, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and SMI Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith toured expanded infrastructure that will streamline traffic flows for the NASCAR events that make up Kentucky Speedway’s June 28-30 “Quaker State 400” weekend as well as future events at the 107,000-seat venue.
The State of Kentucky completed projects which expanded Kentucky Highway 35 to seven lanes, widened the I-71 ramp to Ky. Hwy. 35 to three lanes and constructed a pedestrian tunnel that will connect the massive new Ford Parking lot east of Ky. Hwy. 35 to Kentucky Speedway.
In addition to acquiring and engineering 170 new acres for the Ford Parking lot, Kentucky Speedway converted 50 new acres of previously unusable land to parking and added gravel aisles to 100 acres of previously all-grass parking. In total, the projects yielded parking for an additional 20,000 vehicles compared to 2011.
“I commend Bruton Smith and (Kentucky Speedway General Manager) Mark Simendinger and all the other people at Kentucky Speedway for the obvious improvements that have been made to this facility. Equally important has been their resolve to make the Quaker State 400 the showcase event it deserves to be,” said Gov. Beshear. “Their investment and their resolve made it easy for us to also invest in roadway improvements to increase traffic capacity in the vicinity of Kentucky Speedway.”
The speedway further contracted Veteran’s Security and Patrol, Co., as its new parking management service and partnered with nationally-recognized engineering firm Stantec to create a simulation model which helped shape a new speedway traffic management plan by predicting numerous scenarios managers may encounter on event days.
Kentucky Speedway complemented the infrastructure expansions by constructing a new overpass to its infield tunnel road which will allow a bolstered fleet of free guest trams to efficiently travel designated routes to gates and points of interest on race days.
“It is important to recognize the leadership Gov. Beshear and Bruton Smith displayed through the past year to make these improvements possible. They continue their shared commitment to making Kentucky Speedway the best motorsports venue in the country,” Simendinger said.
Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Speedway will partner to provide race fans frequent race day traffic updates through a mix of Facebook (Kentucky State Police / Kentucky Speedway) and Twitter (@kystatepolice / @KySpeedway) messages, information radio station 1620 AM which can be heard within a five-mile radius of the speedway as well as Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana media outlets.