‘Keep calm and collected:’ Louisville drivers prepare for I-71 closure

The temporary closure will begin Friday.
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 11:57 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville drivers are preparing to endure and navigate a 10-day closure of Interstate 71 starting Friday.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the closure will be between I-264 (Watterson Expressway) and I-265 (Gene Snyder Freeway). The ramps to I-71 South at the I-265 interchange will be closed as well.

The project includes a $7.6 million asphalt resurfacing of I-71 between I-265 and the Blankenbaker Lane bridge, which KYTC believes will also allow contractors to complete more extensive repairs to the base of the southbound lanes between I-264 and I-265.

The northbound lanes of I-71 will remain open during the project.

For several drivers, it will mean driving more miles and a longer commute to and from work.

“I’m on the Gene Snyder, I’m on 264, I’m on 71 every single day,” Gerri Treacy said. “It’s going to be a big change, especially for when I’m at work late, which is pretty frequent, and now having to figure out how to maneuver to get back home at night.”

KYTC recommends drivers take an alternate route from I-265 South to I-64 West to I-264 East to I-71 South.

The detour has some drivers concerned about spending more at the pump.

“Thats...Wow,” Daniel Nowlin said. “And it’s a ten-day shutdown? I wish there was some compensation somehow.”

Other drivers, like Jeff Hollis, understand the project is a necessity, but question its timing amid two major music festivals coming to Louisville.

“It’s great in terms of tourism, getting people back downtown, but you talk about the inconvenience,” Hollis said. “People coming in, staying downtown in hotel rooms. I know most of the rooms are booked. It’s going to be quite an inconvenience for them and a lot of people are going to be on a tight schedule trying to get to the concert on time.”

But, the shows must go on, and so too must the road work, which is why drivers said to survive the shutdown, everyone will need to have patience.

“Just try to keep calm and collected,” Nowlin said.

The closure will run from 8 p.m. on Friday until 7 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 26th, according to KYTC.