Community Southern Indiana

Inspections on the Sherman Minton Bridge started Tuesday as crews prepare for a major repair project on the aging bridge later this year.

There will be alternating lane closures on the bridge, which carries Interstate 64, over the next four weeks. Closures on westbound lanes will stretch from Tuesday through April 1, starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. Eastbound closures will take place April 6 through April 18, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Restricted traffic will continue in both directions during the inspections. Project spokesperson Andrea Brady said only one lane out of six will be closed at a time.

“It’s not actual construction activity,” she said. “Rather, it is inspection work, and that will require daily lane closures.”

Brady said the goal is to allow contractors to confirm there are no new issues since the last inspection in April 2019 that could alter repair plans.

Weather delays or other factors could affect the timeline of this phase, Brady said. Once inspections are finished, work crews will be one step closer to launching the Sherman Minton Renewal project.

The rehabilitation will include replacing aging sections of the roadway and painting the bridge, which is 59 years old.

“This project will add up to 30 years of life to the bridge,” Brady said. “The original deck is still on the bridge. It opened in 1962. So this rehabilitation is much needed and is a long time coming for the community.”

Construction is expected to start by late spring or early summer. It will last for more than two years. At least one lane of traffic in each direction will remain open for about 95% of that time.

Brady said residents can sign up for updates about the project at www.shermanmintonrenewal.com.

John Boyle covers southern Indiana communities and health for WFPL News. He is a Report for America Corps member.