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May 9, 2013

Another look at bridge plans: Open house held on downtown portion of the bridges project

LOUISVILLE —

As final preparations are underway, planners with the Ohio River Bridges Project hosted an open house for the public to get a peek at the plans for the new downtown interstate corridor.

Preparatory construction work has already begun along some portions of the Indiana and Kentucky banks of the Ohio River, full-swing operations are still expected to start July 1 and finalized design plans are expected to be determined this month.

In addition to allowing the public to ask questions, a short presentation recapped the plan for the project.

“The project is comprised of three distinct sections that will all be constructed simultaneously,” said Arik Quam, project manager for Walsh Design Build Team, the contractor for Kentucky’s portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

The three sections are: the reconstruction of Spaghetti Junction; the construction of a new downtown Interstate 65 bridge and the rehabilitation of the Kennedy Bridge into a southbound-only span; and the Indiana approach to the bridges.

Quam recapped that during construction, planners will keep two lanes of interstate traffic open at all times and the only closure to the interstate this year is the eastbound I-64 to southbound I-65 ramp. It is expected to be closed from July 1 until the middle of 2016.

 

BUILDING NOW

Walsh Construction Project Manager Max Rowland said that along the banks of the Ohio River is where people will be able see progress on the first phases of construction.

A test shaft was drilled along Riverside Drive in Indiana last week, and the concrete was poured Tuesday.

Rowland said testing of the shaft will take place in about a week to ensure it meets engineers’ design estimates.

Riverside Drive resident Beverly Knight offered her concerns with the noise and vibrations that will come with the bridge construction, and also offered a concern about the test shaft that was poured.

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