NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - The Sherman Minton Bridge welcomed rush hour traffic for the first time in five-and-a-half months on Monday morning. The bridge reopened to traffic just before midnight Friday night.
A Monday morning commute to work on a holiday wouldn't normally warrant a comment from commuter T.J. Carney like "it feels fantastic," but when it means getting back across the Sherman Minton Bridge for the first time, it's likely you will find a lot of happy people like Carney.
You'll also find happy businesses. "I'm getting some of my old customers back," said Heather Morris, manager of Hobknobb Roasting Company. "They're really happy the bridge is open. Their commute is going to go down from anywhere from an hour commute to 15 minutes, 30 minutes."
The customers not only have extra time to get a cup of coffee now that they are not rerouted to the other side of time, but they have extra time to sleep. "I usually leave at quarter after, but this morning I'm leaving obviously later," said Don Wate who used to leave New Albany at 5:15, but on Monday headed out at 5:45.
The work on the Sherman Minton is not complete. Crews still have to paint all the new steel. That will mean shutting down one lane of the bridge during non-peak times.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is now taking bids to re-deck the Kennedy Bridge. That project that was put off when the Sherman Minton Bridge was closed for emergency repairs.