LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 4, 2012) — Construction on Interstate 71 in Louisville will pick up again next week after the Kentucky Derby festivities. Paving of the final asphalt surface on the southbound lanes of I-71 is scheduled for the weekend of May 11-14. At the same time, contract crews will be making bridge deck repairs on the northbound lanes.
To expedite the work, I-71 will be completely closed in both directions between I-64 in downtown Louisville and I-264 (mile points 0.0 and 5.5), better known as the Watterson Expressway. This road closure is scheduled from 8 p.m. on Friday, May 11, to 6 a.m. on Monday, May 14. Motorists must follow the signed detour via I-64 and the Watterson.
“Complete closure of the interstate over the weekend will allow the paving of southbound I-71 to be done in a shorter time frame than the traditional method of closing one lane at a time,” said Matt Bullock, chief district engineer for the Department of Highways, Louisville District. “This process will also provide a better quality product on the roadway. The two driving lanes will be paved simultaneously, allowing the joint between the lanes to be sealed up while the asphalt is still hot enough to be compacted. Otherwise, water will seep into the joint and lead to the formation of potholes.”
During the weekend closure, crews will be repairing bridge decks in the right lane of northbound I-71. The left lane will be used to haul asphalt, concrete and other materials to the work site.
Prior to the weekend of total closure, and for nearly two weeks afterward – the period of May 9-26 – concrete repairs for nine bridges on the northbound lanes of I-71 will require lane closures. Northbound I-71 will be reduced to one lane from 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, until 6 a.m. on Saturday, May 26. Crews will work first in the right lane before moving to the left lane.
As part of this work, the entrance ramp from Zorn Avenue to northbound I-71 will be closed from 8 p.m. on Wednesday May 9, until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 15.
Tractor-trailers and loads wider than 11 feet will not be permitted through the work zone. A signed detour will be in place via eastbound I-64 and eastbound I-264 (Watterson Expressway).
Northbound I-71 will be closed on the weekend of June 1-4 to allow for paving of the final asphalt surface on those lanes.
Gohmann Asphalt and Construction is the contractor on the $10.9 million project. Work is scheduled for completion in early June, subject to change for inclement weather or other unforeseeable delays.
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