Louisville, Ky. – The Abraham Lincoln Bridge, the centerpiece of the Downtown Crossing portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project, is open to traffic. One day after an estimated 50,000 people had a chance to “Walk the Bridge,” I-65 North traffic moved to the bridge. I-65 South traffic is expected to follow later this month.
The new bridge will carry three lanes of northbound traffic, with the right lane a mandatory exit to Court Avenue in Jeffersonville. Later this month, two lanes of I-65 South traffic will move to the Lincoln Bridge. That shift will lead to additional traffic changes later this month.
One Long-Term Ramp Closure Ends, Another Begins
The first ramp closure associated with the Downtown Crossing has ended. The ramp from I-64 East to I-65 South is open to traffic. It had been closed since July 2013.
The ramp was initially scheduled to close for 1,000 days, but opened early because of the accelerated schedule to open the cable-stayed bridge to traffic. The accelerated schedule allows for more extensive improvements to the Kennedy Bridge.
As drivers traveling from the west to Downtown Louisville regain direct access to I-65 South, they are losing direct access to I-65 North. The ramp from I-64 East to I-65 North has closed to traffic.
This is a long-term closure, with the ramp expected to be closed until late 2016. Signed detours will be in place to help drivers reach their destinations. Around 8,400 drivers use the ramp on a daily basis. A new ramp will be built during the closure. It’s expected to open by late 2016.
New Travel Patterns for Drivers
Drivers will notice some significant changes to their usual travel routes with I-65 North traffic now on the Lincoln Bridge. Drivers are urged to slow down and allow themselves extra time, especially the first few days of the transition.
Drivers Accessing the Bridge from I-65 North
The split from I-65 North to I-64 East/I-71 North has shifted south, closer to Muhammad Ali Boulevard.
Drivers will notice additional changes as they approach the bridge. Two lanes will split right, carrying traffic to I-64 East, I-71 North and I-65 North. A lane splitting to the left provides direct access to I-65 North.
The new configuration is part of the collector-distributor system helping to untangle Spaghetti Junction. Traffic is being organized and funneled to its destination, ending some of the short merges and tight weaves that have been part of the Kennedy Interchange.
Drivers Accessing the Lincoln Bridge from Eastern Jefferson County
Drivers accessing the Lincoln Bridge from Eastern Jefferson County and Oldham County will notice a significant change. Traffic traveling from I-64 West and I-71 South previously split to the left to access I-65 North and right to access I-65 South.
This movement will flip with the new traffic pattern, with I-65 South to the left and I-65 North to the right. This is the new, permanent configuration.
Direct Access to I-65 North Restored for Drivers in Southern Indiana
There’s good news for drivers traveling north on the Clark Memorial Bridge. The new flyover ramp, providing direct access from US 31 North to I-65 North, has also opened to traffic. It’s been under construction since summer 2014.
During construction, a detour took drivers through Jeffersonville to the 10th Street ramp to access I-65 North. The new ramp provides a direct connection to I-65 North. It opened Saturday night.