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Sherman Minton Bridge to have permanent traffic configuration by late spring

A view of the Sherman Minton Bridge from New Albany
John Boyle
/
LPM
The Sherman Minton Bridge is currently undergoing a rehabilitation project that started in 2021.

Officials with the Sherman Minton Renewal project announced an updated schedule last week that says both decks of the Sherman Minton Bridge will have a permanent traffic configuration in place by late spring.

By late spring, the Sherman Minton Bridge — which carries Interstate 64 between New Albany and Louisville — will permanently have three westbound lanes on the top deck and three eastbound lanes on the lower deck. Additional work that won’t significantly impact traffic will continue into late summer.

In a news release last week, officials attributed the rehabilitation project's new timeline to delays caused by material and labor shortages over the past two years.

“Crews have been working extra hours to recover the schedule but have experienced delays outside of our control in getting the materials and workforce we need,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Project Manager Royce Meredith said in the release. “This is not unlike what we’ve seen on other major projects, especially where steel and concrete are the primary components.”

KYTC, the Indiana Department of Transportation and contractor Kokosing Construction Company worked to establish the new construction schedule, which included an agreement on the duration and number of closures allowed in a year.

Officials said the bridge will remain open 95% of the time under the agreement, and that advance notice will be given for significant traffic restrictions.

“We truly appreciate the community’s patience as we revitalize this important link between Louisville and New Albany,” INDOT Project Manager Danny Corbin said. “Early on, the public made it clear that it preferred a longer construction schedule with more access instead of a complete closure. Even with the modified schedule, we will continue to maintain access to the bridge during the vast majority of construction and continue progress in the safest manner possible for both motorists and workers.”

The Sherman Minton Renewal project is meant to add 30 years of life to the bridge, which opened in 1962.

Work on Phase 4 of the project began in November. This includes pavement preservation, bridge painting, structural steel repairs and replacements, and concrete replacement on the upper westbound deck.

Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.