LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Aug. 14, officials announced the reopening of the Clark Memorial Bridge.
Officials said the bridge will be open some time after midnight, in time for Friday morning's rush hour. Work to prepare the bridge to reopen is expected to begin late Thursday night.
The Clark was shut down for several weeks while crews reworked the Southern Indiana approach as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project.
The closure was expected to last 44 days. Good weather during much of the closure and around-the-clock work the first few weeks of the closure have put progress ahead of schedule, with the bridge expected to reopen to traffic nearly one week early.
While the bridge is open to vehicular traffic, it is not open to pedestrians. New sidewalks are being built along the Indiana approach to the Clark Memorial Bridge and historic handrails will be reinstalled. Sidewalks on the Clark Memorial Bridge will remain closed until the work is completed.
New Traffic Pattern Affects Northbound Traffic on US 31
Drivers need to be aware of a new traffic pattern that will be in place when the bridge reopens. Drivers will not have direct access to I-65 North from the Clark Memorial Bridge. All northbound traffic on US 31 will have to exit onto Court Avenue, driving through Jeffersonville.
The new traffic pattern is expected to be in place for more than a year as a new flyover ramp is built from US 31 North to I-65 North.
A signed detour will be in place. Drivers wanting to access I-65 North will be directed to the 10th Street ramp. The detour will direct drivers from Court Avenue to Spring Street to 10th Street.
In addition to building new US 31 entrance and exit ramps to and from Court Avenue, crews with Walsh Construction have started to build the ramp that will eventually connect northbound US 31 to the flyover ramp to I-65 North.
Missouri Avenue between Court Avenue and S. Clark Boulevard will also reopen to traffic Friday. Drivers traveling in either direction on Missouri Avenue will again be able to access US 31 South.
New traffic signals are in place at Missouri Avenue and Court Avenue and will be in use when the bridge reopens to traffic. The signals include traffic traveling from I-65 South to US 31 South.
Historic decorative pylons were dismantled and reassembled prior to the closure of the bridge. They’ve been incorporated into the design of the reconfigured approach and now sit outside of the new US 31 exit and entrance ramps.