By Eric Pilgrim | Fort Knox NewsOctober 16, 2019
Officials from Fort Knox's Directorate of Public Works have announced they will be installing a four-way stop at Dixie Street and 11th Armored Division Avenue to provide safer, smoother traffic flow in the area.
The measure, which is expected to take effect Nov. 4, is considered a mid-range fix to a well-documented problem.
"We've identified this intersection as a problem for a while; we just didn't have the funding or the in-house design team to solve the problem," said Ashley Ryan, master planner at DPW. "We are going to have to hire an architectural engineering firm to design what our long-term permanent solution will be.
"Rather than continuing to wait for funding that might not come for many years, we decided to turn that into a four-way stop."
While she and others consider the four-way stop a long-term solution, it still is considered a temporary fix compared to what they are hoping to construct there: a traffic circle.
"That would be the ideal solution because you have three roads intersecting in five locations in that area," said Ryan. "You kind of have the makings of a circle there already."
That potential traffic circle she refers to is a triangular section of sloping landscape that 11th, Dixie and Old Ironsides Avenue surround. It's the slope along Old Ironsides to the Dixie intersection that concerns Garrison Safety Office chief Joe Colson the most.
Colson said the road drops below the grassy hill, making it extremely difficult for drivers traveling along Dixie toward the Exchange to see cars at Old Ironsides attempting to cross the road; it also raises the stress levels of drivers attempting to cross Dixie. Officials from DPW and Safety agreed to close the road at 11th as a result.
"There were on average about 15 or 16 complaints a month at that intersection," said Colson. "Not only that, while talking with other folks around the installation like Emergency Management and the fire chief, they have concerns as well. It's a very challenging intersection.
"So we are trying to mitigate those near-misses because they will eventually turn into accidents."
The four-way stop that officials will create at 11th and Dixie will allow traffic coming from four different directions to move quickly without drivers getting stuck at 11th waiting to cross over or turn onto Dixie toward the Exchange or commissary.
The plan provides flexibility for DPW officials to fix a problem without having to wait indefinitely for funding to be earmarked, according to Ryan.
"The four-way stop is not a band aid," said Ryan. "It is a good short-term, low-cost mitigation of the problem rather than just continue on the way we have been, waiting for money we might not ever get."
Ryan noted the small strip of Old Ironsides from 11th to Dixie will remain closed even after the four-way stop goes into effect.