Southbound I-65 at Kennedy Bridge reduced to one lane during construction



Posted on June 26, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 27 at 3:58 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NEWS RELEASE/WHAS11) - Expect more delays during rush hour commutes after authorities had to close another lane on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge.

I-65 southbound is now down to one lane, and it’s set to stay that way until July 4. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says crews discovered the top layer of reinforcing steel is too close to the surface, and now the machines they need to pave the road are wider than a single lane of traffic.

“They are doing all of this to provide the best possible product for the bridge,” Andrea Clifford with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said. “The only other way around it is a complete closure, and at that point you won’t have anybody moving across the bridge.”

To help ease congestion a familiar plan has been put into place. The Clark Memorial Bridge will now have one reversible lane, and Louisville Metro Police will be helping to keep traffic moving. It’s the same plan that was used during the Sherman Minton Bridge closure.

The following is a news release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet:

An additional lane closure will be required in the construction zone on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge, which carries Interstate 65 over the Ohio River.

During removal of the old latex overlay on the bridge, crews discovered today that the upper layer of reinforcing steel is too close to the roadway surface.  To adequately cover the steel, crews must put down more concrete than was planned. The additional weight of concrete will prevent application of a special asphalt waterproofing membrane, as had been planned. The final driving surface will instead be concrete.

The machines used for concrete paving are wider than can be accommodated in a single traffic lane. Therefore, traffic must be limited to a single lane for prescribed periods.

Until now, southbound traffic has had two lanes - one on the southbound side of the bridge, which is three lanes wide, and a "crossover" lane of the northbound side, which is four lanes wide. Now, however, crews will be working on all three southbound lanes of the bridge.

Beginning tonight at 8 p.m., southbound I-65 will be reduced to the single crossover lane. Two lanes will be maintained for northbound I-65 traffic across the bridge.  This traffic pattern will be in place until 5 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4.

To help reduce congestion for motorists traveling from southern Indiana to Louisville, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) will be utilizing reversible lanes on the Clark Memorial Bridge during this phase of work.  On weekdays, the four-lane bridge will have three lanes southbound to Louisville for morning rush hours.  KYTC crews will set up cones by 5:00 a.m. and remove them around 9:00 a.m.  Local law enforcement will assist with traffic control.

In the next phase of work, traffic will be restricted to one lane for northbound I-65 traffic and revert to two lanes for southbound traffic.  The switch to this traffic pattern is currently scheduled to begin at midnight on July 4.

Vehicles wider than 9 feet are restricted from traveling through the work zone.  The project area is along I-65 from the Main Street overpass in Louisville to the north end of the bridge in southern Indiana (mile points 136.2 to 137.3).  Repairs will also be performed on four ramp bridges in the I-65/I-64 interchange.

The schedule for ramp closures has been adjusted a couple of days as indicated on the attached calendar.  The following ramps (shown in yellow on the attached map) are currently closed and will remain closed for the duration of the project:

•    The exit ramp from eastbound I-64 to northbound I-65 in Kentucky
•    The exit ramp from southbound I-65 to Market Street in Indiana
•    The entrance ramp from Court Avenue to southbound I-65 in Indiana

The exit ramps from southbound I-65 to eastbound I-64/northbound I-71 and westbound I-64 (shown on attached map in blue) are currently closed.  These ramps are scheduled to reopen by July 3rd.  Motorists should follow the signed detour via westbound I-265 to I-64.

In addition, the exit ramps from northbound I-65 to eastbound I-64/northbound I-71 and westbound I-64 (shown in purple) are closed through July 7.  Motorists should follow the signed detour via I-264.

The construction is being done by MAC Construction and Excavating, of New Albany, Ind. at a cost of $18.2 million.  All work is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 15, 2012.  The schedule and duration of work are subject to change in the event of inclement weather or other unforeseeable delays. 

For construction and traffic updates, visit here. Traffic information for all eight counties in District 5 is also available at this Facebook page. Dial 511 or log on to for the latest in traffic and travel information across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Click here to see what ramps will be closed and click here to see the time frame of each ramp closure.