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Officials Say Traffic Plan Works Well, Significant Changes Unlikely

The traffic plan for getting around the Sherman Minton Bridge has been tweaked over three days and further alterations are unlikely.

The plan reroutes traffic to the Kennedy and Clark Memorial bridges in downtown Louisville. Officials spent Monday and Tuesday adjusting the ramps, availability of exits and the number of lanes in each direction. Among the most notable changes to the traffic plan are the decision to run two lanes of traffic in each direction on the Clark Memorial Bridge in the evenings (three lanes are southbound in the mornings) and to widen the I-265 ramps in Indiana.

City and state officials staffed the makeshift traffic center in Louisville for two days, but stopped giving daily scheduled media briefings after Tuesday afternoon.

“We kind of overstaffed it at first, which was kind of a good idea. We wanted to make sure if we had areas we didn’t cover that we’d have additional personnel, and we’ve kind of shifted things around,” says Louisville Metro Police Department Lieutenant Doug Sweeney. He adds that the plan is now working better than expected, and he doesn’t expect to make any more changes.

Sweeney says the LMPD is not letting its guard down, though. Officers will remain on watch to adjust traffic as necessary to cope with accidents or any other delays.

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Local News

Officials Say Kennedy and Clark Bridges Can Handle Extra Weight

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials say the Kennedy and Clark Memorial bridges can handle the additional traffic load from the Sherman Minton Bridge.

The Sherman Minton is closed indefinitely due to structural damage. The 80,000 cars that cross it daily are being rerouted to the two downtown bridges, which are already over capacity. (To see the traffic plan, click here.)

A scheduled inspection of the Kennedy Bridge by Kentucky and Indiana officials today was called off. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman Andrea Clifford says that doesn’t mean the bridge is overdue for an inspection.

“The detailed inspection has been done recently, but this joint annual inspection’s going to have to be postponed. We may have to do it on a Saturday or a Sunday when closing a lane won’t have as much impact,” she says.

The last Kennedy Bridge inspection was November last year. The Clark Memorial Bridge was last inspected in April of this year.

The Kennedy previously carried roughly 136,000 cars per day.