Safety improvements to close I-65 South through downtown Louisville

Safety improvements to close I-65 South through downtown Louisville
A detour will be established using I-64 West to I-264 East (Source: WAVE 3 News)
A detour will be established using I-64 West to I-264 East (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Andrea Clifford (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
Andrea Clifford (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
This is the first of two weekend closures. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
This is the first of two weekend closures. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A six mile stretch of Interstate 65 South will be shut down this weekend in hopes of preventing serious crashes in the future.

The work will be going on from Hospital Curve to the Watterson Expressway (I-264) and this could lead to backups in the meantime. Wrecks at Hospital Curve on I-65 have been known to halt traffic and create backups for hours.

"Definitely anything we can do to reduce the number of crashes has the potential for saving lives," Andrea Clifford with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said.

In the rain, the risk in this area only increases. That's why KYTC plans to install what they call a high friction surface course on the interstate between Chestnut and Muhammad Ali.

"This material helps improve skid resistance and we have used it on other locations particularly curved ramps and we've seen a significant reduction in the number of crashes," Clifford said.

Crews will also work place asphalt pavement joints between Chestnut and the I-264 that will provide a much smoother ride.

But these improvements come at a cost. Starting Friday at 8 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. Monday, I-65 South from I-64 in downtown to the Watterson will be shut down.

"All the driving lanes, all the entrance and exit ramps in that six mile stretch of roadway will be closed," Clifford said. "There will be no access."

Drivers will be detoured to I-64 West to I-264 West where they will loop around and reconnect to I-65 South.

"Hopefully people will understand one weekend of traffic detours versus multiple weekends of the roadway being reduced to one lane and having multiple traffic jams," Clifford said.

Next month crews will do the same thing on I-65 North. That work, which is weather dependent, is tentatively scheduled for October 20-23.

For more information about road closures, click here.

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