Major delays expected as lanes close on I-65 on Sept. 2 - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Major delays expected as lanes close on I-65 on Sept. 2

Part of the stretch of I-65 that will be reduced from three lanes to two starting Sept. 2. (Source: Lee Holeman, WAVE 3 News) Part of the stretch of I-65 that will be reduced from three lanes to two starting Sept. 2. (Source: Lee Holeman, WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - "The Big Squeeze" may sound like a summer blockbuster, but coming this fall southern Indiana drivers will be less than amused. It refers to a phase of construction on the new Ohio River Bridges Project that will reduce Interstate 65 north and south from three lanes of traffic each way to two.

Starting Sept. 2, one lane of traffic will close each direction from the Kennedy Bridge to Brown's Station Way. Crews will start work to shift all traffic from both directions into the southbound lanes of the interstate.  This will allow them to demolish and rebuilt the new northbound lanes to connect with the new downtown bridge that's currently being built.

"There's no way to avoid this," said Mindy Peterson, spokeswoman for the Bridges Project-Downtown Crossing, "but we can make sure that drivers are aware and that they can make the changes they need to adapt." 

The lane closures are long-term and expected to continue until late in 2016, when the Bridges Project is nearly finished. Peterson said the impact though will spread to surrounding areas.  

"When you have traffic backing up on 65 it's going to be felt on 64, on 71, on surface streets and ramps in Kentucky," said Peterson.

It also means that there will not be direct access from I-65 North to Stansifer Avenue or Brown's Station Way after September 15. Drivers using the Kennedy Bridge northbound will notice that the bridge is reduced by a lane of travel as well.  Southbound travel on the bridge will remain unchanged.

Project officials expect this work to cause long delays. If this is a route you take, you're told that you might want to change your travel plans to off-peak times. Use of alternate routes, such as surface streets or the Sherman Minton Bridge, are also a good plan.

"We want them to know what's coming so they can make plans because we think that this is the point that they're going to want to take a look at things and determine, 'Is there a better way to get to where I'm going?'" Peterson said. "It may be that it makes more sense for people to add some more mileage to their trip and go around and use the Sherman Minton as opposed to sitting in traffic on I-65."

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