LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 30, 2012) – Work began Monday evening to replace bridge bearings at the piers on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge. While jacking up the bridge slightly to accommodate this work, contract crews experienced difficulty with lifting one of the expansion joints at Pier 3, the second pier in the water from the Kentucky shore. This joint will not move because of accumulation of roadway debris.
To replace the bridge bearing underneath this locked joint, the expansion joint must be removed. Lane and ramp closures at the bridge will be necessary during this work. Interstate 65 across the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction today from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning.
The ramp from eastbound I-64 to northbound I-65 will be closed from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. today. Motorists should follow the signed detour via eastbound Interstate 264 (Watterson Expressway) to northbound I-65.
Daytime lane closures are also needed to complete this work. The left lane only will be closed in each direction today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
All ramps to and from the bridge will remain open during this phase of construction.
Because of the jacking of the bridge, vehicles weighing in excess of 15 tons are prohibited from crossing. This weight restriction began at midnight Monday and will continue through midnight on Friday. Law enforcement officers are in place to detour these vehicles around the construction zone.
For southbound I-65, 15-ton or greater vehicles will need to follow the signed detour via westbound I-265 to eastbound I-64, crossing the Sherman Minton Bridge and then access I-65 in downtown Louisville.
For northbound I-65, these same vehicles will need to follow the signed detour via westbound I-264 to westbound I-64, crossing the Sherman Minton Bridge, follow to eastbound I-265 and then access I-65 in southern Indiana.
The major bridge construction will begin in mid-June with the bridge being reduced to two lanes in each direction. The John F. Kennedy Bridge carries an average of 136,000 vehicles per day.
Lane closures will also be in place during the overnight hours on Interstate 64 between I-65 and I-71 (mile points 5 and 6) for preparatory work ahead of the bridge construction. Lane closures are possible in the weeknights from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through June 6. These lane closures will allow for installation of work platforms and debris containment.
MAC Construction and Excavating, of New Albany, Indiana, is the contractor on this $18.2 million construction project. Work is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 15, 2012.