Officials Plan to Continue Current Traffic Plans in Wake of Bridge Closure

by Erica Peterson on September 19, 2011

In the first week of the I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge closure, traffic has been slower between Kentucky and Indiana. But the congestion is not as severe as officials expected it to be, and they plan to stick with the current traffic patterns.

Andrea Clifford of the Kentucky Division of Highways says traffic went surprisingly smoothly last week, considering the bridge’s closure meant about 80,000 cars had to be re-routed.

“It seems to work very well,” she said. “We haven’t found anything else we can do that will give us major benefit without hindering traffic in other parts of the area.”

She attributes at least some of that to motorists altering their commute schedules to avoid peak travel times, and some companies allowing employees to work from home. Officials made changes to traffic plans in the first few days of the Sherman Minton Bridge closure, but Clifford says they’ll likely stick with the pattern that’s been in place for the past few days.

But it’s unknown how long the I-64 bridge will be closed.

Clifford says most of the traffic changes will be easy to continue indefinitely because they don’t require workers to be on the scene. But some of the changes—like instituting reversible lanes on the Clark Memorial Bridge—require manpower.

“So we do have to have staff in place for that,” she said. “We’re prepared to do that now and then we’ll see what types of situation we’re going to be in once we hear the final reports for the Sherman Minton Bridge and the repair schedule.”

The bridge’s prognosis is expected in about two weeks, and the decision will be made whether it can be repaired or needs to be replaced.

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