A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plans to open the Julian Carroll-Purchase Parkway/KY 348 Exit 43 Interchange at Benton sometime late this week. KYTC engineers are optimistic the new interchange in Marshall County can be open with traffic running on base courses of asphalt by sometime late Friday. Engineers anticipate providing about 24 hour advance notice when the new ramps are ready for traffic. Motorists should be prepared to encounter changes in traffic flow the new ramps will create at this busy interchange. The Purchase Parkway/KY 348 Exit 43 Interchange is at Purchase Parkway mile point 42.555 and KY 348/Symsonia Highway/5th Street mile point 7.439 at the west edge of Benton in Marshall County. Approximately 23,500 vehicles pass through the interchange in an average day. This work to bring the Purchase Parkway/KY 348 Benton Exit 43 Interchange up to current FHWA Interstate standards is among several projects aimed at allowing Interstate 69 to eventually be extended southward along the Purchase Parkway to Mayfield. The existing cloverleaf was designed for slow-speed traffic exiting after a stop at the interchange toll both. The new design is a modern diamond interchange that provides additional space for acceleration and deceleration of traffic entering and leaving the main line of the 4-lane parkway. Weather permitting, traffic is expected to move to the new ramps by sometime late Friday. The contractor plans to allow traffic to run on base courses of asphalt through the winter months. The contractor will return in the spring to place a final driving surface along the ramps and the parkway lanes within the project area. Motorists are reminded to use appropriate caution where equipment, flaggers, and construction personnel are continuing to work along the roadway in close proximity to traffic flow. Jim Smith Contracting of Grand Rivers is the prime contractor on this $8.1 million project. As a reminder, work zones along the Purchase Parkway at the I-24 Exit 25 Interchange at Calvert City and at the US 45-Bypass Exit 21 Interchange in Mayfield continue to be active. Both of those projects, also aimed at allowing I-69 to be extended southward along the parkway in the future, have a July 1, 2018, target completion date. Timely traffic advisories for the 12 counties of KYTC Highway District 1 are available by going to www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1<http://www.facebook.com/kytcdistrict1>. You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.