LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The countdown to Thunder Over Louisville is on. This Saturday, thousands will pack downtown wanting to be part of this year's kick off to Derby.
In order to get everyone to and from safely, Louisville Metro Police have a very detailed traffic plan.
Right after the morning rush hour on Thursday, the Clark Memorial Bridge will shut down to traffic and not reopen until Sunday, hopefully by 2 p.m. This is just the beginning of multiple road closures and route changes.
"We have sound plans for both traffic and security, and we will be able to address any type of situation," LMPD Lt. Brian Bernardi said.
Louisville Metro Police are ready with a tried and true approach for this year's Thunder Over Louisville. Keep in mind there will be lane closures, barricades and even direction changes.
"We will once again utilize the Market Street plan as we call it," Sgt. Bill Patterson said. "We will flip the traffic from 6th street back towards I-64. We've done that the last three years and it seems pretty effective for us."
You'll want to do your research beforehand. If you are planning on going downtown, LMPD encourages you to park on whatever side of the venue you live on.
Downtown bridges will be impacted at some point or another. The Big Four will be closed all day Saturday and on Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the air show practice.
The Lincoln and Kennedy, carrying both directions of 65 traffic, will shut down at 8:45 p.m. This is 15 minutes later than last year. That includes I-65 northbound from the Watterson to I-64, and I-65 southbound from Indiana's I-265 to I-64. Police hope to reopen those bridges by 11 p.m. on Saturday night.
"If we can open it sooner we will because obviously that just helps us get people back across to Indiana," Patterson said.
The Sherman Minton Bridge and Lewis and Clark Bridge will remain open. Officers will be making sure no one is stopping in their cars or on foot on the new east end bridge. This will be the first year it's open, so LMPD is not sure if it will help traffic matters.
"This will be kind of a test run for us as well," Patterson said. "I could see where it wouldn't hurt, but we will have to visit that after we run through it on Saturday."
Police ask for your patience and want to remind drivers that it can take up to 3 hours to clear out downtown.
Click here for detailed street closures.