Keeneland Addresses Expected Traffic Issues

Keeneland prepares for meet during major construction on Versailles Road.

Because of extensive construction along Versailles Road (U.S. 60), Keeneland expects traffic issues at its upcoming spring meeting—but the Lexington track is doing the best it can to address the problem, officials said.

Beginning in February, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet began major improvements to Versailles Road between New Circle Road (Kentucky 4) and Blue Grass Parkway. Versailles Road provides the major access points to the well-attended Keeneland spring meeting.

"It's the elephant in the room," said new Keeneland president Bill Thomason. "It's no secret; it's not like we can hide it."

While Thomason acknowledges there will be no way to completely avoid problems as the construction continues for eight to 10 months, he said the track is doing its best.

Keeneland will publicize alternate routes and entrances, including Van Meter Road and Old Frankfort Pike to Rice Road, on its website and in local media. Thomason said police will work at key intersections along these routes to improve traffic flow. Police also will have an added presence along Versailles Road to improve traffic flow and to quickly address any motor vehicle issues such as accidents or stalled cars.

"We'll ramp up our efforts along the route to help traffic move in and out of Keeneland in the same way we move people in and out of Commonwealth (stadium) and Rupp Arena," said Lexington police chief Ronnie Bastin. "We'll also be recommending alternate routes to keep traffic moving. Keeneland is very important to our community and we want our citizens and visitors to have a positive experience. There will be delays, but we'll do our best to minimize them."

The track plans many pre-race and post-race activities for fans and encourages them to arrive early and stay late. LexTran, Lexington's public transportation system, will provide shuttle service each day for $1. On Fridays and Saturdays, riders will receive a $2 food voucher valid at any Keeneland concession stand.

"We will pull out all the stops to make sure our patrons have the easiest access to Keeneland and make sure our patrons can get out of here as easily as they possibly can," Thomason said. "We don't know what to anticipate now. I've described it as unfortunate... It's one of those things that had to be done. We appreciate the efforts everyone is making."

Thomason said the track has been told that before the meet opens Friday, April 5, closed lanes will be reopened on Man o' War Blvd. at the intersection with Versailles Road.