New Albany business preps for Sherman Minton Bridge closures

We had a hard time getting to Agave and Rye in New Albany.
Published: Dec. 11, 2022 at 8:09 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Starting on Wednesday, December 14, I-64 Eastbound lanes on the Sherman Minton Bridge will be closed for nine days.

The closure is expected to last until Friday, December 23. Those lanes connect Louisville to Downtown New Albany. Most of that area is already under construction from the Main Street Revitalization project.

“Everyone on Mainstreet is saying it’s difficult for foot traffic because it looks like everything is shut down,” said Tristan Thompson, Dining Room Leader of Agave and Rye. “It’s dangerous and confusing people who aren’t from here and don’t really know what’s going on.”

The $5.5 million project started in September, and it is estimated to be completed in August of 2023.

The Main Street Revitalization project is not the only construction detouring customers to downtown New Albany. Construction on the Sherman Minton Bridge will close I-64 Eastbound lanes. This creates more obstacles for businesses in the area.

“We have members of our team that are hours away that when they are trying to come offer support and they are having troubles,” said Thompson. “They have had to take very long detours to get to work and we are trying to be patient with that.”

The work to expand the life of the 59-year-old bridge is making it harder for employees to commute to work. Now, some of them are looking for other employment opportunities.

“Having to hear that these people I have grown to love are saying, ‘I might have to find another job or other work,’” said Thompson. “It’s hurtful. I am doing everything I can to have everyone stick it out with us because I don’t want to lose anyone guest or otherwise.”

During eastbound I-64 closures, the I-64 eastbound entrance ramp from West Spring Street will be closed along with the I-64 eastbound to I-264 eastbound ramp.

While the eastbound directional closure is in place, the suggested alternate route will be I-265 and I-65. Regional traffic signs and variable message boards will be posted in the project area well in advance, notifying motorists of the closures and alternate routes.

Traffic that bypasses I-265 will not be able to cross the Sherman Minton bridge.  This traffic will be required to exit onto West 5th Street in New Albany and use the local street system to access I-64 westbound, then continue to I-265 and the designated alternate route.