Sherman Minton Bridge lane closures loom as construction project begins

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 11:46 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 1:19 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After years of planning, Tuesday brings the first day of a multi-phase rehabilitation project on the Sherman Minton Bridge.

Ramp improvements begin Tuesday and are scheduled to last a week or two. Those affected ramps are listed below:

I-65 / I-265 Interchange

  • I-265 east to I-65 south ramp
  • I-65 south reduced to 2 lanes at I-265 overpass

I-64 / I-265 Interchange

  • I-265 to I-64 west ramp
  • I-64 east and west to I-265 ramp
  • I-64 westbound reduced to 2 lanes at Captain Frank Road

Overnight lane closures and/or ramp closures are expected during the ramp improvements. Detours will be marked with signage in the area.

The ramp modifications are being made to accommodate increased traffic as a result of the construction. Interstates 65 and 265 will serve as detour routes while lanes on the bridge are restricted.

After the ramp improvements are completed, bridge traffic will be reduced to two lanes in each direction as crews paint and prepare for deck replacement.

The first construction phase is expected to begin in August, and is part of the overall project that is aimed at extending the life of the 59-year-old bridge by 30 more years.

David Conley, who lives on the Indiana side of the bridge, said it’s about time it’s getting fixed.

“It needs to be repaired like most of the bridges in the United States,” he said.

Rick Hill said he can see the bridge from his Tacolicious To Go restaurant. He said he sees his customers make their way in from the other side of the bridge, and the other side of Market Street in New Albany. No matter where they come from, Hill said he’s ready for the slowdowns.

“We’re ready to cut hours back if we need to and just go lunchtime only,” Hill said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

While Hill and others wait and see, there will be construction on the lower deck and improvements will start for alternate routes and the bridge will be painted.

“When you drive over it, it’s not a pretty sight,” Hill said. “Rust is not the right color for that bridge.”

“I just hope it all goes well and all the men and women are safe,” Conley said.

Officials said at least one lane in each direction will remain open for 95 percent of the duration of the project, which is due to be completed by mid-2023.

The Sherman Minton Renewal website has a complete breakdown of its construction plans, closures, etc.

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