Clark Memorial Bridge closing in July for 45 days - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Clark Memorial Bridge closing in July for 45 days

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An official closing date for a busy downtown bridge has been set. An official closing date for a busy downtown bridge has been set.
Andy Barber Andy Barber
Angela Cox Angela Cox
Scott Harper Scott Harper

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An official closing date for a busy downtown bridge has been set. Wednesday Andy Barber, with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said the Clark Memorial Bridge, also known as the Second Street Bridge, will shut down July 8 for an estimated 45 days.

That's when work will be happening on the north approach and when some 16,000 cars and trucks that use the Second Street bridge every day will only have one choice - to get on what will likely be a jammed Kennedy Bridge.

Any time a bridge shuts down it's not good news for businesses around it, especially during busy summer hours. Still, several restaurant managers along the river said they are trying to stay positive and proactive.

"I get plenty of people crossing the bridge, deliveries, pick-up, carry-out things like that," said the manager of Bearno's Pizza in Jeffersonville Angela Cox. Cox was talking about all the customers they get from downtown Louisville.

She said when the Sherman Minton Bridge closed in September of 2011, so many people were stuck in traffic it hurt their business. "It slowed us down," she said, "any bridge that shuts down any time, it just makes the traffic bad so therefore it effects our business."

Bearno's and other river restaurants are trying to fend off the bridge closure with promotions, birthday club coupons, free bread sticks. Currently Bearno's is running a library promotion offering children who read a book a free pizza.

They're on the same page at The Bristol Bar and Grille. The Bristol's Scott Harper said of the impending closure, "We've been monitoring it kind of closely."

The restaurant sees big summer crowds with a 20 table patio with panoramic views of the river so, they're offering French food and wine selections in a July promotion to keep customers coming. 

Harper said, "After living through the Sherman Minton (closure) I don't think anything could be quite as bad, but sure, there's naturally a little bit of concern, but I like to think the Kennedy is more than large enough of an artery to bring people here and it's really not that far away."

Transportation officials said they wanted to get the busy July 4 weekend over before shutting down the bridge and they plan to have it open again before the heavy traffic on the Labor Day holiday weekend.

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