Second Street bridge construction on schedule

Written by Erin Walden

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (News and Tribune) — The $27.9 million facelift for the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, commonly referred to as the Second Street Bridge, is right on schedule.

Work on the project began in February according to a press release from district five of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Though there's plenty of time left for hiccups to occur and affect the timeline, there have been no "issues impacting the overall schedule" to date according to Andrea Clifford, public information officer for district five of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Crews are blasting old paint, rust and debris off the bridge, which carries 15,000 vehicles on an average day, and repainting.

"We know that all of our steel bridges need to be repainted in order to protect the steel for maintenance purposes," Clifford said.

According to Clifford, only the portion of the bridge that spans the Ohio River is being addressed currently. The Indiana and Kentucky side approaches were repainted in 2013 and 2010, respectively.

The maintenance has been warranted for a while, Clifford said, but the cabinet held off until construction on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge was complete to avoid multiple lane closures on multiple bridges at the same time.

The section being addressed hasn't been painted since the 1980s.

"There's definitely a need for [the repainting]," Clifford said.

Though the lane closures (one each direction, leaving just the middle lanes open) will persist predominantly until the project is done, there may be some time period during the winter where lane closures will be removed.

"When we have winter and extreme cold they aren't able to do any painting work," Clifford said.

Lanes will also be reopened at times during the Kentucky Derby Festival next year.

Erin Walden is the education reporter at the News and Tribune. Contact her via email at erin.walden@newsandtribune.com or by phone at 812-206-2152. Follow her on Twitter: @ErinWithAnEr.