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Sherman Minton Bridge Closure: Traffic Plan Unveiled For Monday Rush

Kentucky and Indiana transportation officials have prepared a traffic planfor the commutes into and out of Louisville, as thousands of motorists who use the Sherman Minton Bridge will have to find an alternate route across the Ohio River.Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels ordered the Interstate-64 span shut down Friday after cracks were found in two load-bearing support beams. In response, officials have added reversible lanes on the Clark Memorial Bridge, widened some exit ramps, and will have police directing traffic in some of the more congested areas. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has asked motorists to form carpools and for employers to stagger their work schedules to help avoid gridlock.Daniels says it will take at least three weeks for engineers to finish scouring the nearly 50 year old span for more faults and determine a repair plan.He says it’s too early to tell whether the the bridge will have to be replaced."I don’t think anything can be excluded at this point. It’s been well said, ‘safety first’ and we’re going to take no chances. So ask in three weeks and we’ll have a better sense. My guess is that’s not a very likely outcome," he said.The Courier-Journal has posted a detailed, interactive traffic planon its website, in conjuction with government officials.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.