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IN-KY Bridge Closes for Inspections, Rehab Prep

Monday, April 5, 2021

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At the end of March, officials announced that lane closures were going into effect on the Sherman Minton Bridge, an important commuter bridge for travelers from Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

The structure crosses the Ohio River and connects Interstate 64 and U.S. 150 from Louisville, Kentucky, to New Albany, Ohio, as well as the state of Indiana. The lane closures are expected to take place through April 18 while inspection work is completed.

Sherman Minton Bridge

Named after the former U.S. senator from Indiana, the structure was built by Burgess and Niple (Columbus) in 1961. The double decker two-span steel through arch bridge measures about 2,053 feet long and 42 feet wide. Upon its completion, the American Institute of Steel Construction dubbed the structure “the most beautiful long-span bridge of 1961.”

Throughout the years since its inauguration, the bridge was rehabilitated in 1997 and again from 2011-12 when cracks were discovered in the main load-bearing structural element. The bridge reopened in February 2012.

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At the end of March, officials announced that lane closures were going into effect on the Sherman Minton Bridge, an important commuter bridge for travelers from Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

In 2019, the bridge underwent inspections in advance of a larger renovation effort that has been anticipated for years. At the time, the Sherman Minton Renewal's project website reported that the structure was “deteriorating and long-term repairs are needed to extend the life of the bridge.”

Through the proposed rehabilitation project, project spokesperson Andrea Brady said the service life of the “important community asset” will increase an estimated 30 years.

What’s Happening Now

As inspections begin in preparation of the roughly $137 million Sherman Minton Renewal project, officials expect to gain more information about the current status of the crossing before work begins. Over the course of the inspections, technicians will be examining the bridge's structure and assessing its condition ahead of the start of construction.

Following inspections, the Sherman Minton Renewal project will involve the replacement or renovation of all bridge decks, steel elements and hanger cables on the crossing, along with drainage repairs, new lighting and a paint job. Some work will also take place on I-64 and Interstate 265 in Indiana and I-264 in Kentucky during the three-year process.

Over the course of the estimated 843 total days of work, the bridge is expected to completely close for a total of 54 days, as to avoid a total shutdown like the one that took place in 2011. In wake of the closure, the Courier Journal reports that a typical commuter journey from New Albany to Louisville increased from 15 minutes to 90 minutes for many within the region.

The renewal project is to be paid for jointly by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation. Construction is slated to begin later this spring.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Bridges; Department of Transportation (DOT); Infrastructure; Inspection; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Rehabilitation/Repair; Renovation

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