Ramp closure is a concern for downtown businesses - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Ramp closure is a concern for downtown businesses

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Mark Payton Mark Payton
Alicia McKinney Alicia McKinney

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - All the lane and ramp closures associated with the downtown Bridges Project can be confusing especially, if you're headed downtown from Indiana and forget to get off at the 9th Street Exit.  At that point, you have to go to Story Avenue or take Interstate 65 North to Exit 0 (Jeffersonville) to turn around and that's cause for concern.

The I-64 Eastbound ramp to I-65 South is a ramp downtown drivers have come to depend on.  As of Monday night at 11 p.m. that ramp closed for a three year span and it will certainly ignite the tempers of some drivers.

The question is: Will the increased traffic actually help downtown businesses or be one big mess?

Mark Payton the owner of the Mark Payton Glass Center tried to answer that question, "I think it would scare quite a few people away."

Turning glass into beautiful things is how Payton makes his living, but trying to turn the ramp closure into a positive is a little trickier.

On the bright side? Heavy traffic means more eyes on downtown businesses, although southbound drivers who pass the 9th Street Exit can't turn around until they're a few miles away at Story Avenue. "If I'm out of town with my family and we pass the exit," Payton said, "I'm not turning around."

That's a big concern when you're livelihood is fueled by tourism dollars.

The Mark Payton Glass Center is a museum partner with the Louisville Science Center, Louisville Slugger Museum, the Frazier History Museum, the Ali Center and 21c Museum Hotel all are near the 9th Street exit.

"If it was just me, I would probably go somewhere else because I would get frustrated with traffic," said Dallas visitor Alicia McKinney. But, after visiting Museum Row, McKinney said she believes most travelers would do what they had to in order to get there.

"If I had kids with me and they wanted to go to the Louisville Slugger Museum," she said, "I would definitely have to find the Slugger Museum so the kids would not be upset."

Michigan visitors we ran into agree. "We had a great time," said Katie Maurer, "If we would have not found a place to turn around, we would have been a little more likely to just drive by, but I'm from a softball and baseball family and we probably would have turned around and found our way."

The beauty in that? Payton is trusting in the great reputation of Museum Row and good signage by the State. "It's inevitable that we're going to have to deal with it in some way and hopefully it's not going to be devastating," Payton said.

The TRIMARC boards will alert drivers to the closures but it's still confusing. We've got it all mapped out for you here on WAVE3.com, just click here.

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