Officials in Indiana and Kentucky plan to reopen the Sherman Minton Bridge in time for the morning rush on Monday, Aug. 7.
The bridge connecting New Albany to Louisville closed on July 27 after crews noticed a problem with a bridge bearing supporting the upper deck of the Kentucky approach. As a precaution, the Indiana Department of Transportation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet opted to close both the upper and lower decks of the bridge.
The affected section of the structure partially overhangs the lower deck; the bearing and its pier provide support for the upper deck of the approach.
Since being alerted to the issue, engineers and crews have worked to inspect the bridge and plan emergency repairs. Crews began their work Saturday, but since the repairs were unplanned, some materials had to be shipped from as far away as Texas. Other key materials were being brought in from Ohio and Illinois, transportation officials said.
The bridge will be restored to its previous traffic capacity: two eastbound lanes on the lower deck, one westbound lane on the lower deck and one westbound lane on the upper deck.
Until crews finish their work, drivers should use alternate routes and detours. The suggested alternate route is I-265 and I-65. Regional traffic signs and message boards will notify drivers of the closure and recommended detour.
The bridge is currently undergoing a renewal project expected to add up to 30 years to its lifespan. The work aims to address structural deficiencies, replace/refurbish bridge decks and add a new coat of paint.