LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A significant change is coming this week to drivers who cross the Ohio River from Jeffersonville into downtown Louisville.
One lane of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge will reopen to traffic by 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30. The change only impacts drivers traveling from Stansifer Avenue, 10th Street and Court Avenue to I-65 South.
Mindy Peterson with the Ohio River Bridges Project said the temporary median crossover that has carried traffic from those streets to I-65 South on the Abraham Lincoln Bridge is closing. That will allow Walsh Construction crews to install the final barrier wall, separating new, permanent lanes of I-65 South and I-65 North.
Peterson said the changes will be clearly marked, but drivers should slow down and pay close attention, particularly the first few days of the new traffic pattern.
Drivers who want to exit at Jefferson Street in Downtown Louisville must exit at Stansifer Avenue (Exit 1) in Southern Indiana. The traffic will cross the river on the Kennedy Bridge and be able to exit at Jefferson Street. Southbound traffic crossing the river on the Lincoln Bridge will not be able to access the Jefferson Street exit.
Traffic is moving into this new, temporary configuration as the ramp from Court Avenue to I-65 South reopens to traffic. It closed during the week of Sept. 19 for final paving and other work.The ramp is expected to reopen by 5 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 when the new traffic pattern is in place.
Kennedy Bridge improvements
The Kennedy Bridge has been fully closed to traffic since January 2016 while crews make major improvements to it, including installing a new floor system with new stringers, bearings and diaphragms the length of the bridge. It is expected to reopen to I-65 South traffic in October. Initially, it will carry three lanes of southbound traffic. Direct access to I-64 East, I-64 West and I-71 North will be restored when the Kennedy reopens to southbound traffic next month.
When the project is finished, the Kennedy Bridge will carry six lanes of southbound traffic and the Lincoln Bridge will carry six lanes of northbound traffic. Work on the Downtown Crossing is expected to be complete in December.