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Sherman Minton Repairs Continue; KTC Won't Replace Kennedy Bridge Lane Posts

A Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials says the Kennedy and Clark Memorial Bridges have been holding up well under a heavier traffic load caused by the September closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge.Matt Bullock also disclosed today that the cabinet will no longer replace the delineator posts that were knocked down along the southbound lanes of the Kennedy at the I-64-71 exit.The posts were installed this month to prevent motorists from making a last-second lane change and tying up traffic, but more than a dozen have been run over."I think we’re to the point now that we’re not going to continue to replace them. There’s gaps in there right now that allows people to cut through like they were doing before. So ultimately when the bridge opens up here, I think things are obviously going to go a lot better and we’re not going to have to worry about it anymore," Bullock said.He spoke at a status briefing on the Sherman Minton Bridge, which has been closed for repairs since early September and is scheduled to reopen at the beginning of March.      The bridge is being reinforced with new steel that department chief of staff Bob Zier says issubjected to strict quality control inspections."I was here six months ago and said I wouldn’t drive my family across this bridge. When it’s done, I will drive my family across this bridge again. So, I just wanted to let you know, I’ve got the confidence to get back on this bridge," Zier said at a press conference on the bridge. He says time-consuming part of the job is the removal of some 55,000 steel plugs (pictured) from the bridge in order to install the new refinforcement panels.Officials say the repair work is running slightly ahead of schedule and should be completed by the beginning of March.

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