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Westbound Sherman Minton bridge closure begins

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 7:07 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The westbound lanes of the Sherman Minton bridge are closed for the next nine days.

This is part of the 59-year-old bridge’s multi-phase rehabilitation. The first phase, expected to run through the middle of next year, includes painting, lower deck replacement, and some steel replacement.

Sherman Minton Renewal Project spokesperson Andrea Brady said this most recent closure is to let new pieces of the deck cure in the wet weather.

“There’s nuances, of course, in a construction project like this,” Brady said. “It just has to have enough time to dry out because new concrete has been poured.”

The closure has caused thousands to find an alternate way out of Louisville and into southern Indiana, more specifically New Albany.

Just Monday, the closure caused backups to several roads during the evening rush-hour commute, including a more-than-an-hour backup leading up to the Clark Memorial Bridge in downtown Louisville.

The closure is also expected to affect traffic going into downtown New Albany.

Andria Wint, who owns Blown Beauty Bar on Pearl Street, told WAVE 3 News she was not worried about a downturn in business, even though several of her clients drive to her salon from Louisville.

“A bridge shutdown didn’t even ruffle me,” Wint said. “Any guests that are coming over from Kentucky, just give yourself an extra 15 minutes to get here. We’re obviously going to accommodate our guests as best we can.”

Wint said she’s talked to other business owners in downtown New Albany and believes the closures will only be a temporary headache.

“I feel that all of the business owners down here are very strong and especially, like you said, opening through the pandemic was already a challenge,” Wint said. “So this has just united us to make accommodations as we need to and it really hasn’t ruffled anybody. We’re going to accommodate you and just accommodate us. And just know there are closures happening that it may cause your guests to get frustrated, but we’re all going to be kind to each other.”

The construction runs through November 9.

Project leaders told WAVE 3 News the nine-day closure is part of a deep-rehabilitation of the bridge, which could take roughly three years to finish.

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