LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NEWS RELEASE) – More extensive repairs are planned later in January on a deteriorated support column that led to the closure last month of the ramp that carries traffic from I-65 North to I-64 West.
Walsh Construction Co., leader of the Design-Build Team that is building the Downtown Crossing, will remove the deteriorated concrete, replace damaged steel rebar and pour a new layer of concrete around the column to encase the repaired core. The work is expected to take less than a week and will require closure of the ramp.
Meanwhile, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is continuing an inspection of scores of other columns in the Kennedy Interchange as a precautionary measure. The inspection, which will be completed in several weeks, is focusing on columns with exposed rebar or other signs of deterioration.
In December, KYTC closed the I-65 North/I-64 West ramp for a weekend after significant deterioration was discovered. Walsh Construction quickly installed temporary shoring with steel beams to take the load off the damaged column. The entire ramp will be torn down and replaced in 2015, but KYTC decided to repair the column to ensure maximum stability.
Reconstruction of the Kennedy Interchange, where I-64, I-65 and I-71 merge, is a major part of the Downtown Crossing project.
“We are building a brand new interchange that will improve safety for many decades to come, but we must focus on the immediate safety needs that we face today,” said Andy Barber, KYTC Downtown Crossing project manager.
Support columns in the Kennedy Interchange have a center core of concrete surrounded by a steel rebar cage. The columns are encased with an outer layer of concrete that protects the core and provides a finished look.
A number of columns in the 50-year-old interchange have damage to the outer shell, which has exposed the rebar cage. But KYTC officials said the deterioration found on Pier 9, Column 1 was the first discovery of significant deterioration of the center core of a column in the interchange.
Columns in the interchange are inspected every two years, and several columns with deteriorating concrete have been repaired in the past.