Bridge project will impact traffic for years - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Bridge project will impact traffic for years

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Work on one of the pilings for the downtown bridge on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. Work on one of the pilings for the downtown bridge on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.
Andy Barber Andy Barber
James Warfield James Warfield
Construction near Louisville Slugger Field for a wider I-65. Construction near Louisville Slugger Field for a wider I-65.
Equipment to widen I-65 have taken over part of the Louisville Slugger Field parking lot. Equipment to widen I-65 have taken over part of the Louisville Slugger Field parking lot.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Construction projects come with the turn of the calendar over to summer, but the one that is coming down the road for Louisville will last for years to come.

Starting mid-month, we'll see the first two major closures for the Ohio River Bridges Project. The ramp from Interstate 64 eastbound to Interstate 65 southbound will shut down and the three lanes at hospital curve on I-65 southbound will become two.

Nothing is going to stop James Warfield from making the trip across the bridge to load up for fireworks for the Fourth of July.

"I'll still get over one way or another if I needed to," Warfield said.

But the threat of looming backups on I-65, especially after the traffic mess that resulted from the shutdown of the Sherman Minton Bridge two years ago, is causing a lot of us to re-think what we're doing.

At Eagle Steel in Jeffersonville, company leaders said with the construction narrowing of I-65, they're putting drivers on the road earlier, trying to avoid a rush hour where no one will be rushing anywhere.

Just like "Shermageddon," we're all going to have to adapt.

"What's happening now will be new to everybody and it's going to take some time for people to accommodate and adjust," said Andy Barber, the Downtown Bridge project manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

You can already see parts of the new, northbound span is taking shape along the river's edge. Further south, you can see where a wider I-65 will go.

"If you go to Louisville Slugger Field, you see that's the area needed to construct as well as the area needed to do the actual physical work," Barber said.

A pile of rocks off to the side of the current SpaghettiJjunction shows you where that will spread. Barber said you'll keep seeing signs pop up.

"It's a very accelerated project so you're going to see a lot of work going very quickly," he said.

The closures needed to make it all happen, he says, are just getting started so we may all need to adopt a little of Warfield's philosophy.

"It will work itself out eventually," Warfield said. "Everything should be ok."

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