The closure is expected to last just over six months
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 18, 2016) – The full closure of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge is expected to begin Monday overnight. Only one lane of the bridge is currently open to traffic, carrying drivers from I-65 South to I-64 East and I-71 North. The closure is expected to be in place by 5 a.m. on Tuesday. The full closure of the Kennedy Bridge is expected to last just over six months.
The work on the Kennedy Bridge is part of the Downtown Crossing portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project. Crews with Walsh Construction are installing a new floor system, which is expected to add decades of new life to the 52-year old bridge.
Impact on Traffic
During the work, the newly-opened Abraham Lincoln Bridge will continue to carry both northbound and southbound I-65 traffic. I-65 southbound motorists heading to I-64 and I-71 N will require alternate routes.
Just over 22,000 drivers travel from I-65 South to I-64 East and I-71 North on a daily basis. This is about 10 percent of the nearly 225,000 vehicles that travel across the Ohio River between Louisville and Southern Indiana each day.
During the closure, signed detours will be in place. The signed detours will be I-265 and I-264, and drivers are also expected to use local streets to reach their destinations.
Improvements Being Made
A new floor system will be built on top of existing floor beams, with all new stringers, bearings and diaphragms the length of the Kennedy Bridge. Floor beams run between the two trusses that frame the bridge and support the bridge deck. Stringers are the primary vertical support members of the floor system, running with traffic. Approximately 3.5 million pounds of old steel will be removed and 3.5 million pounds of new steel will be installed.
After the new stringers are installed, a new concrete deck will be formed. The new deck will include 5,700 cubic yards of concrete and 2.6 million pounds of reinforcing steel.
A new approach on I-65 South (Indiana approach) is also being built. The work includes complete removal of the existing approach. The new approach includes 4.1 million pounds of new steel beams and 2,100 cubic yards of new concrete.
The improvements are expected to add at least 35 years of new life to the Kennedy Bridge.
One lane of the Kennedy Bridge is expected to reopen in late July, restoring access from I-65 South to I-64 West, I-64 East and I-71 North. The remaining lanes of the Kennedy Bridge will be closed until late 2016, near the end of the project.
The actual starting date and duration for the work may be adjusted if inclement weather or other unforeseen activities occur. Also, given the aggressive overall construction schedule for the project, Walsh DBT may shift work schedules when opportunities arise.
The Downtown Crossing includes the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge, an improved Kennedy Bridge and interstate connections on both sides of the river. Substantial completion of the entire Downtown Crossing is scheduled for December 2016.
Find all of the latest traffic information and more details on the Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.