Local News

Southbound traffic on the Kennedy Memorial Bridge has been reduced to one lane until early July 4th.

Traffic was already reduced to two lanes in each direction for a bridge deck resurfacing project.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says crews will need to put down more concrete than originally planned, requiring the additional southbound lane closure.

The reduction will cause heavy traffic delays, especially during the morning rush.   To help alleviate congestion, an additional southbound lane will be created on the Clark Memorial Bridge, and commercial vehicles will be rerouted onto the Sherman Minton Bridge. 

More information is in this release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 26, 2012) – An additional lane closure will be required in the construction zone on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge, which carries Interstate 65 over the Ohio River.


During removal of the old latex overlay on the bridge, crews discovered today that the upper layer of reinforcing steel is too close to the roadway surface.  To adequately cover the steel, crews must put down more concrete than was planned. The additional weight of concrete will prevent application of a special asphalt waterproofing membrane, as had been planned. The final driving surface will instead be concrete.


The machines used for concrete paving are wider than can be accommodated in a single traffic lane. Therefore, traffic must be limited to a single lane for prescribed periods.


Until now, southbound traffic has had two lanes – one on the southbound side of the bridge, which is three lanes wide, and a “crossover” lane of the northbound side, which is four lanes wide. Now, however, crews will be working on all three southbound lanes of the bridge.


Beginning tonight at 8 p.m., southbound I-65 will be reduced to the single crossover lane. Two lanes will be maintained for northbound I-65 traffic across the bridge.  This traffic pattern will be in place until 5 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4.


To help reduce congestion for motorists traveling from southern Indiana to Louisville, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) will be utilizing reversible lanes on the Clark Memorial Bridge during this phase of work.  On weekdays, the four-lane bridge will have three lanes southbound to Louisville for morning rush hours.  KYTC crews will set up cones by 5:00 a.m. and remove them around 9:00 a.m.  Local law enforcement will assist with traffic control.


In the next phase of work, traffic will be restricted to one lane for northbound I-65 traffic and revert to two lanes for southbound traffic.  The switch to this traffic pattern is currently scheduled to begin at midnight on July 4th.


Vehicles wider than 9 feet are restricted from traveling through the work zone.  The project area is along I-65 from the Main Street overpass in Louisville to the north end of the bridge in southern Indiana (mile points 136.2 to 137.3).  Repairs will also be performed on four ramp bridges in the I-65/I-64 interchange.


The schedule for ramp closures has been adjusted a couple of days as indicated on the attached calendar.  The following ramps (shown in yellow on the attached map) are currently closed and will remain closed for the duration of the project:


·         The exit ramp from eastbound I-64 to northbound I-65 in Kentucky

·         The exit ramp from southbound I-65 to Market Street in Indiana

·         The entrance ramp from Court Avenue to southbound I-65 in Indiana


The exit ramps from southbound I-65 to eastbound I-64/northbound I-71 and westbound I-64 (shown on attached map in blue) are currently closed.  These ramps are scheduled to reopen by July 3rd.  Motorists should follow the signed detour via westbound I-265 to I-64.


In addition, the exit ramps from northbound I-65 to eastbound I-64/northbound I-71 and westbound I-64 (shown in purple) are closed through July 7th.  Motorists should follow the signed detour via I-264.


The construction is being done by MAC Construction and Excavating, of New Albany, Ind. at a cost of $18.2 million.  All work is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 15, 2012.  The schedule and duration of work are subject to change in the event of inclement weather or other unforeseeable delays.  


For construction and traffic updates, visit http://transportation.ky.gov/District-5/Pages/I-65-Construction.aspx.  Traffic information for all eight counties in District 5 is also available at www.facebook.com/KYTCDistrict5.  Dial 511 or log on to 511.ky.gov for the latest in traffic and travel information across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 



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