State fixes stretch of Perryville Road notorious for hydroplaning

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The state highway department has repaved a dangerous stretch of Perryville Road between Danville and Perryville in an effort to stop vehicles from hydroplaning when the road is wet.

The state milled a several-hundred-foot stretch of U.S. 150 in the Atoka area of Boyle County, then repaved it last week, Boyle County Engineer Duane Campbell said.

“They restored the crown (sloped shape to encourage water runoff) and then there was a sag in the road, a little low place in the road, and that low place had settled and become flat,” Campbell said. “It was collection water and that was part of what was creating a lot of the hydroplaning right in that one spot.”

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The repaired portion of the road is just to the west of Salt River Road. Both sides of the road have been completely repaved.

Campbell said the road has been problematic for a while. It’s possible that a water leak in the area that went uncorrected for some time led to the road settling, but there’s no way to know for sure, he said. That leak has also now been corrected.

“We had numerous hydroplaning accidents. We also had a fatality accident there; I don’t think it was related to the rain or water issue, but still it drew attention to that area,” Campbell said. “… It should be (in good shape) right now. We’ll see how long it will last.”

Boyle County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder said he’s visited the stretch of U.S. 150 three times — twice while the state was working on it and once since, “during the course of this last rain that we’ve had, which has been pretty substantial at times.”

He said during all three visits, he didn’t observe any water problems on the roadway.

Numerous wrecks in the same area of U.S. 150 have occurred in recent months, though not all can be attributed to the hydroplaning issue the state has attempted to repair. Local artist Allan Crain was injured in a wreck involving a semi-truck just to the west of the repaired roadway on July 28.

A two-vehicle wreck on July 6 along the stretch of now-repaired roadway killed Betty “Sue” Gayle Wethington, 53, of Parksville and hospitalized AJ Laughlin, 36, of Harrodsburg. According to investigators, heavy rains had caused water to pool on the roadway and it’s possible one of the vehicles involved hydroplaned.