Downtown Bridges Will Eliminate Spaghetti Junction - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Downtown Bridges Will Eliminate Spaghetti Junction

By James Zambroski

(LOUISVILLE) -- The plan is to completely revamp downtown traffic in Louisville, making it easier and safer for drivers while completely eliminating Spaghetti Junction. WAVE 3 Investigator James Zambroski got a look at a new, 3-D model that shows what the new highway system will look like.

When you hear about grandiose government construction projects like rebuilding a major interstate interchange, it's easy to think, "yeah, maybe before I retire."

But transportation officials are serious about plans to alleviate the problems associated with Spaghetti Junction. They've got a good start on money. The design could be finished by the end of this year. And they'll probably start turning dirt just a couple of years after that.

The Kennedy Interchange -- Spaghetti Junction to the rest of us -- will be demolished in phases at the same time two new bridges are being built across the Ohio River.

The reason for the facelift: to increase safety and ease traffic congestion. Richard K. Sutherland, Deputy Project Manager, says drivers have no time to think when trying to get where they want to go on Spaghetti Junction.

"People trying to make those decisions and merging over a couple of lanes or weaving a couple of lanes was not only creating a lot of accidents, it was really bogging traffic down," Sutherland said.

Building two bridges and redesigning the junction comes with a $2 billion price tag. "The Louisville bridges project itself is one of the top four or five projects, as far as magnitude of cost, in the country," Sutherland said.

For such a costly project, few people know much about it. Jonathan Lozon, a frequent junction commuter, told us he has "heard bits and pieces about it, but as far as actually what's going on, I really don't know about their overall plans."

Laura Kane said she believes there's plenty she doesn't know about the project because she hasn't had a chance to read up on it.

"When you come across 65, it's really hard to get into that right hand lane to get over to 71, it's always congested, crowded."

Some people were flat out clueless about any of it. Certainly not Shenisha Taylor. "I have no clue," she said. "When there's traffic, I don't even drive it."

The final design is still a work in progress. One big question: how much of Interstate 64 will cross the Great Lawn. The model we saw today depicted the Interstate as being twice as wide as it currently is, but that's likely to change.

Connectors and roads in the Butchertown/Frankfort Avenue are also being considered.

Online Reporter: James Zambroski

Online Producer: Michael Dever

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