'Big Squeeze' constricts drivers beginning Sept. 2; allow plenty - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

'Big Squeeze' constricts drivers beginning Sept. 2; allow plenty of time

Drivers will have to get used to the "Big Squeeze" beginning Sept. 2. (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News) Drivers will have to get used to the "Big Squeeze" beginning Sept. 2. (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News)
The "Big Squeeze" will last two years. (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News) The "Big Squeeze" will last two years. (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News)
This is where the "Big Squeeze" will take place. (Source: WAVE 3 News) This is where the "Big Squeeze" will take place. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
This is where congestion could spread. (Source: WAVE 3 News) This is where congestion could spread. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Big Squeeze is about to start pushing the patience of drivers.

Starting Tuesday, the part of the Ohio River Bridges Project that's been nicknamed the Big Squeeze will force both northbound and southbound Interstate 65 to lose one lane each direction from the Kennedy Bridge to Brown's Station Way in southern Indiana. Congestion is expected to spread to Spaghetti Junction and beyond.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Businesses face pinch of Kennedy Bridge, I-65 'Big Squeeze']

Bridges Project officials urge drivers to use side streets. Some of those side roads come with headaches of their own.

Drivers who try to avoid the impacted part of I-65 in southern Indiana by using Highway 31 to get to the Clark Memorial Bridge will find construction there as well. Part of Highway 31 also gets squeezed by one lane in each direction. At the north end of the Clark Memorial Bridge, it's one lane each way, too.

[SLIDESHOW: East End and Downtown Bridge illustrations and animations]

People trying to avoid a backed up Spaghetti Junction by using River Road will find it clear until they get downtown. Then Witherspoon Street is closed as are several other side streets in the downtown Louisville area.

What if you use southern Indiana driver Pat McKay's strategy? "I've figured out I can pretty much get anywhere I need to go on the Sherman Minton [Bridge]," McKay said.

If you live in Jeff or Clarksville and decide the extra distance is worth it to avoid backups, Brown's Station Way is clear of most construction cones. Aside from traffic lights, it's a pretty clear path to the Sherman Minton.

"I think everybody is expecting an awful lot more traffic here on the Sherman Minton," McKay said. "I think that's what I would do."

Nancy Gall-Clayton said even though her bike might be faster, it's not an option, so she'll probably do what most people will do, once the Bridges Project starts squeezing.

"You need to start earlier," she said. "You need to have a good attitude. Don't let it get to you. Think positive. In the long run, it's going to be great, but it's going to be a big hassle for a while."

Bridges Project leaders say drivers should also try to travel at off-peak hours if possible. If you find a route that works for you, remember it and keep it close because the Big Squeeze will last the next two years.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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  • Building the Bridges

    Building the Bridges

    The Ohio River Bridges Project is designed to improve safety, alleviate traffic, connect highways and create economic development. This calls for building two bridges and the highways that connect them.More >>
    The Ohio River Bridges Project is designed to improve safety, alleviate traffic, connect highways and create economic development. This calls for building two bridges and the highways that connect them. More >>
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