News and Tribune

January 6, 2014

More repairs coming to interstate ramp in downtown Louisville

Ramp will be closed again in late January

By BRADEN LAMMERS
braden.lammers@newsandtribune.com

LOUISVILLE — More repairs are planned for an interstate ramp in Spaghetti Junction that was shut down for several days in December.

Work on a support column that carries traffic from Interstate 65 north to I-64 west is expected to take place in late-January. The deteriorated support column was temporarily repaired and reopened two days after the issue was discovered Dec. 20.

Walsh Construction Co. will remove the deteriorated concrete later this month, replace damaged steel rebar and pour a new layer of concrete around the column to encase the repaired core, according to a press release from the Ohio River Bridges Project. The work is expected to take less than a week and will require closure of the ramp.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is continuing an inspection of scores of other columns in the 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.

“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, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet project manager, in the release.

Support columns in the Kennedy Interchange have a center core of concrete surrounded by a steel rebar cage, according to the release. 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 Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 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.