One year in life's still a blast near East End Crossing - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

One year in life's still a blast near East End Crossing

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According to crews they are more than halfway in the tunnel, 1,200 feet on the southbound side and 950 feet on the northbound side. According to crews they are more than halfway in the tunnel, 1,200 feet on the southbound side and 950 feet on the northbound side.
Winston Bennett Winston Bennett
Janet Jackson Janet Jackson
Rob Morphonios Rob Morphonios

PROSPECT, KY (WAVE) - If you live near Wolf Pen Branch or in Bridgepointe subdivision each morning there is a reveille louder than a rooster.

"At 6:45 a.m., yeah, it's a blast," 19-year Bridgepointe resident Janet Jackson said Friday. "It shakes the house."

It's also quite the wake-up call for basketball legend Winston Bennett. The former Male High Bulldog, University of Kentucky Wildcat, Cleveland Cavalier and collegiate coach moved to Bridgepointe a little more than a week ago.

"I'm really amazed that the houses themselves have not come tumbling down," Bennett said. "Because it is like you're at a 7.5 Richter scale type earthquake"

"It's better than it was when they were first doing it," Jackson said. "Because they're deeper into the tunnel than they were."

According to crews they are more than halfway in the tunnel, 1,200 feet on the southbound side and 950 feet on the northbound side.

"But the blasting will have to continue on," said Rob Morphonios, the project manager for WVB East End Partners, the East End Crossing's general contractor. "All the way through next year."

Sunrise to sunset. But one year into construction, residents give the contractor and Indiana's Department of Transportation (INDOT) high marks for responding to their concerns quickly and comprehensively.

That's to be the mantra for project elements underway on the Indiana side too, Morphonios said.

At first glance, the work on Interstate 265 at Utica would seem to be all about dirt, but drivers are about to experience major changes.

"Because of the interchange and the multiple ramps there, you see some lane shifts, more than what you'd see on the Kentucky side," Morphonios said. "But the traffic will keep moving."

As to the River Bridge itself the focus is on foundations. The design is 90 percent complete on Indiana's side.

"The main piers will be 300-foot tall towers," Morphonios said. "They should finish late next year, and you should start to see those emerging from the river."

The foundation is almost finished for the bridge at Harrods' Creek. The Wolf Pen Branch bridge work could be done by year's end.

Jackson will believe it when her granddaughter drives her through it. "She'll have to say ‘Hey, Gran, we're going under the bridge,'" Jackson said.

Her Bichon Frise, named Jack, no longer shakes when the ground quakes.

"He hears that warning whistle, and the words ‘fire in the hole,' he knows it's coming," Jackson said.

But residents are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

"It's gonna be a great way to commute once they get it done," said Bennett, who knows something about extended games. "Sometimes with progress, you've gotta go through the rough spots before you experience some of the greatness of it. "

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