LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- A nearly three-year major rehabilitation project on one of the bridges between Louisville and southern Indiana is expected to get underway in 2021.
The Sherman Minton Bridge, which carries I-64 and U. S. 150 traffic across the Ohio, is a double-decker arch bridge originally opened to traffic in 1962, and the project will be the first major overhaul in the bridge’s 57-year life.
To minimize impacts on cross-river traffic, the Project Team is recommending a plan that will limit full closure of the bridge to only 54 total days of the estimated 843 total days of work.
The Preferred Alternative will ensure at least one lane of traffic in each direction will remain open for nearly 95% of the estimated three-year construction process. Closures will not be in one consecutive 54-day period period, but will be limited to 9 consecutive days per direction in a calendar year, and up to three 3-day weekends per direction per calendar year.
Project leaders credited community leaders, elected officials and business owners with providing valuable input that helped guide the Project Team to a low-impact traffic alternative for the major rehabilitation project.
“The community felt the impacts of the emergency shutdown in 2011 and underscored just how important the need is for a construction and traffic maintenance solution that will not repeat that sudden, long closure,” said Mary Jo Hamman, project manager for the Sherman Minton Renewal.
On September 9, 2011, then-Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered the bridge closed, after work crews discovered cracks in the main load-bearing structural element. Repairs were completed and the Sherman Minton Bridge reopened five months later, February 17, 2012.
The recommended approach follows the public’s preference for maintaining access across the bridge to the fullest extent possible during construction, while providing a safe environment for the driving public and the design-build contractor’s team. It includes:
--Cross-river traffic will be maintained with two eastbound and two westbound travel lanes open most of the time.
--Temporary crossovers and additional temporary widening to ramp lanes will be implemented to facilitate the movement of traffic while work is underway.
--One eastbound and one westbound lane will be closed throughout construction.
--Existing access ramps will remain open during most of the project.
--Two eastbound and/or two westbound lanes and associated access ramps may be closed nightly during construction for up to 180 nights per calendar year.
--The design-build contractor will be permitted to work 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Changes in traffic patterns and full closures will not be allowed during certain holidays and other approved exceptions.
The Environmental Document required by the National Environmental Policy Act has been completed and is posted on the Project website (www.shermanmintonrenewal.com).
Public and agency comments will be accepted through August 10. Comments may be provided through:
--The “Contact Us” page on the Project website.
--Calling the project hotline at (502) 329-8320.
--Mailing comments to:
Michael Baker International
1650 Lyndon Farm Ct. #101
Louisville, KY 40223.
After considering all comments, Kentucky and Indiana officials are expected to confirm the Preferred Alternative. Final approval of the Preferred Alternative will come from the Federal Highway Administration.
This is a design-build best value project, which means price is not the only criteria that will determine which team is selected. The project delivery method invites innovative solutions that will potentially further reduce construction time and impacts to the public.