MT. VERNON, Ky. (WKYT) - There are more crashes on Interstate 75 than any other highway in Kentucky, and the number has increased significantly since 2010.
Major work is being done on a stretch of the interstate highway to make it six lanes, especially in Rockcastle County. You will see orange cones and heavy machinery when you are driving in the area.
"They're blasting all the time. Traffic is slowing. You got barrels, construction, vehicles coming in and out of locations. It's a dangerous stretch of road right now," Kentucky State Police Trooper Scottie Pennington said.
Statistics back that claim up. There used to be fewer than 3,000 crashes on Interstate 75 years ago. The number has shot up 40 percent to nearly 4,000 crashes annually.
There were more than 300 collisions between mile markers 50 and 72 in the past year, and two people have died. A passenger from Ohio died in a three-vehicle collision Sunday night in Rockcastle County. Pennington said there are several factors making the Rockcastle County stretch particularly dangerous, especially speed. Many vehicles travel 70 mph in spite of the posted 55 mph speed limit.
"Speed, everybody being in a hurry, possibly texting and driving and not paying attention," Pennington said. "Any time they're working on the interstate it's going to be 55."
Some areas have no space for drivers to pull over either.
"You got such a small area, and traffic stops abruptly," Pennington said.
The construction project is split into three sections. One section is complete, but crews say it won't be until October 2020 before the project is scheduled to finish.