The Kennedy Bridge in downtown Louisville is expected to be closed early Tuesday so construction crews can make improvements to the 52-year-old span.

One lane of the Interstate 65 bridge has been open to southbound traffic since last month.

Ohio River Bridges Project spokeswoman Mindy Peterson said the closure means motorists who’ve been using that lane to access Interstates 64 and 71 will be detoured.

“Those signed detours will direct drivers either to I-265 or I-264. Drivers who are more familiar with the area, we expect a lot of those folks to cross the river, exit in downtown Louisville, and access 64 and 71 that way,” she said.

Peterson said workers are replacing the Kennedy Bridge’s floor.

“They’ll be pulling out three and a half million pounds of old steel and replacing that with brand new steel,” she said. “So by getting in and doing this work now, it should mean that we’ll able to avoid any major closures and extensive work on the Kennedy for many years to come.”

Work on the Kennedy started in December, after the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge opened to traffic. Officials say one lane of the Kennedy Bridge is expected to reopen in late July.

The bridge’s remaining lanes will be closed until late 2016.

This Associated Press contributed to this story.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."