By BRADEN LAMMERS
With site work already under way on the approaches to the east-end bridge in Kentucky and Indiana, work on the downtown portion of the project began Thursday.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced preparation work for the downtown crossing of the Ohio River Bridges Project will begin this week with initial clearing of right-of-way along interstate routes in downtown Louisville.
Tree cutting and trimming along Interstate 65 between Jackson and Floyd streets, Preston and Floyd streets and Mellwood and Story avenues will be among the first steps and will continue over the next several weeks. The tree cutting and trimming will not require lane closures or restrictions, according to a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet press release.
The preliminary work will prepare the areas for Walsh Construction Co., the team selected to build the downtown crossing, to begin construction work this summer. Kentucky is responsible for constructing a new downtown I-65 bridge, approaches on both the Kentucky and Indiana sides of the Ohio River and the reconstruction of Spaghetti Junction.
Anticipated construction costs for the downtown portion of the bridge total $971 million with an expected completion date of December 2016.