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As Weather Warms Up, So Does Highway Repair Work

From Stu Johnson, Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky’s highway construction season moves into high gear this month. Crews are at work on I-64 in several eastern Kentucky counties. State Transportation Cabinet Spokeswoman Natasha Lacy says the moderate winter means there should actually be fewer road repairs.

“It will be similar probably to last summer. There will be probably less pothole repair work, because we had a mild winter. Therefore we don’t have as many potholes to of course give attention to in previous years when the weather was drastic,” she said.

Maintenance crews are also planning bridge repairs on Lexington’s busy New Circle Road.

In the Louisville area, repair work continues on Interstate 71 and the Kennedy Bridge.

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Final Preparations Made for Bridge Reopening

Preparations are being made on the Kentucky side of the Sherman Minton Bridge for its reopening, which, according to one report, could occur as early as midnight tonight.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Andrea Clifford says crews removed concrete barriers that were put into place to block access to the bridge from westbound I-64.

“We’ll have orange cones there and KYTC staff in place to keep those approaches closed, until such time that Indiana DOT reopens the Sherman Minton Bridge. We’re going to keep staff people there because we don’t motorists getting out and moving the cones and barrels and such and deciding to drive up on the approach to take a look around for themselves,” she said.

Workers also removed barriers at the I-64 westbound interchange with I-65, which was shut down to aid traffic flow. The entrance ramp from Story Avenue to westbound I-64 has also been reopened.
The Indiana Department of Transportation said last week that the Sherman Minton Bridge could reopen sometime next week. WDRB-TV reports that the span will begin taking on traffic again at midnight tonight, but an Indiana Department of Transporation spokesman told WFPL he had no information to confirm the report.

The bridge was closed in early September when inspectors discovered a crack in a support beam.

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Local News

INDOT: Sherman Minton Bridge Could Reopen a Week Early

The Indiana Department of Transportation says the Sherman Minton Bridge could reopen about a week earlier than the original March 1 deadline.

Workers are nearly finished installing steel reinforcement plates on the 50 year old bridge. The span has been closed since September 9, when a crack was discovered in a load-bearing support beam.

Officials say striping crews will be out this week restoring ramp configurations along the detour routes.

The Sherman Minton Bridge reinforcement work is being conducted by Louisville-based Hall Contracting.

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Local News

Bridge Replacement To Close Stretch Of I-64

By Sheila Ash

Motorists traveling in both directions on I-64 in Shelby County can expect delays during the overnight hours Monday and Tuesday due to construction at the overpass on KY 1848.

Spokesperson Andrea Clifford with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says a bridge is being replaced in the area.

“The section of I-64 at the Simpsonville exit is going to be closed Monday evening August 30th and Tuesday evening August 31st. This will allow for demolition of the bridge on KY 1848 that goes over the interstate,” she said.

The interstate will be closed from 7:00pm until 6:00am both days. Traffic will be will be detoured off the exit ramp at Simpsonville and then take the entrance ramp back on to I-64. The new bridge was built as part of a road widening project.

Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2011.