LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Tuesday marked the first day of the Big Squeeze -- a two-year project along Interstate 65 in Southern Indiana -- and it's expected to affect both Indiana and Kentucky commuters as transportation crews continue working on the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Drivers along the southbound lanes of I-65 near Brown’s Station Way in Clarksville were forced from three lanes of traffic down to two when crews closed off the far left lane Tuesday morning.
Tuesday's weather didn't help ease the congestion that is expected to get worse in the coming days. The southbound lane closure is just the first part of the Big Squeeze.
"Tomorrow, I think we're going to see a different story," Tim Emington, Trimarc operations manager, said.
Drivers will experience the full effects Thursday morning. The northbound lanes of I-65 will also reduce to two lanes, beginning around 8 p.m. Wednesday. The northbound lanes were scheduled for reduction Tuesday evening, but it was postponed 24 hours due to inclement weather.
"I think it's going to have a cascading effect on all of Spaghetti Junction," Emington said.
Kentuckiana drivers are getting used to traffic changes associated with the Ohio River Bridges Project, including the closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge, and more recently, with the Clark Memorial Bridge. But it still takes several days if not weeks for the new normal to set in for commuters.
"Traffic's extremely heavy on the Sherman Minton Bridge, but it's moving very well," Emington said.
In fact, the Sherman Minton was the road most traveled Tuesday, as was expected, with drivers attempting to maneuver around the Big Squeeze.
"What through travelers really need to do is come 65 and go westbound on 264 up to 64 and catch 265 up in Indiana and get back on 65. That's going to be the best bet for the next two years," Emington said.
The Southbound side will be split at some point during the project to allow for northbound traffic to move into the old southbound lane. This will free up the northbound lanes for new construction and the construction of new ramps to the bridge. Once the northbound lanes are constructed in 2015, all the traffic will be shifted to those new lanes to allow construction on the southbound side.