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Clark Memorial Bridge traffic restrictions for emergency repairs begin this week

The Clark Memorial Bridge
The Clark Memorial Bridge will restrict traffic starting Wednesday following two emergency closure this month.

The Clark Memorial Bridge, also known as the Second Street Bridge, will restrict traffic to two southbound lanes for emergency repairs.

The Clark Memorial Bridge connecting Indiana to downtown Louisville is set to undergo emergency repairs following the multi-vehicle accident that left a semi-truck dangling over the bridge earlier this month.

The bridge will close temporarily starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. That’s to allow time for construction crews to set up traffic control measures for the repairs, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Crews expect to reopen the southbound lanes by rush hour Wednesday evening. The northbound lanes will remain closed until the bridge repairs are complete.

KYTC encourages drivers traveling northbound to use I-64 E via the Sherman Minton Bridge and I-65 North via the Abraham Lincoln Bridge as alternative routes in the meantime.

Engineers working on the bridge are coordinating with traffic changes on the Sherman Minton Bridge, which is also under construction.

“It will make it much easier to finish the repairs with the fewest possible interruptions, while again, maximizing safety for both the short and the long term,” Mayor Craig Greenberg said during a press conference Friday.

Repairs to the Clark Memorial Bridge are expected to be complete by mid-April, officials said.

The semi truck damaged several steel beams as well as the sidewalk during the accident. The bridge reopened a day later after KYTC engineers reported the damage was concentrated on the sidewalk and posed no safety risk to vehicle traffic.

Greenberg said pedestrians will not be allowed to walk on the bridge while repairs are underway.

“Please be careful where we encourage people not to walk,” he said. “Whether it's the second street bridge, or on a highway. Please heed those calls for caution.”

The repairs follow another emergency closure last week when a driver struck a woman on the bridge. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This was a case of an individual that did not heed the warnings when there are signs asking you not to do something,” Greenberg said Friday. “Folks need to heed those warnings. They're not there for fun. They're for people's own safety.”

The incident on the Clark Memorial Bridge was one of four other accidents where drivers hit someone. Of the four separate accidents, only one person survived.

Greenberg said his administration is committed to improving roadway safety for drivers and pedestrians.

“Everything that we're doing to improve our roadways [and] to build new roadways, starts with safety,” he said. “There's a lot of work that needs to be done to achieve that goal.”

This story has been updated.

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

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