LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) –- Officials say Wednesday afternoon's rush hour was one of the worst since the Sherman Minton Bridge closed, and traffic continues to mount the longer the bridge is shut down.

Trimarc says a series of accidents were responsible for many of the delays, but points out that rush hour in the evening is becoming longer and more congested each week.

It doesn't take much to compound traffic problems these days.            

"It's a mess," said one driver. "Glad I'm not going across the bridge."

A fender-bender, caught on one of Trimarc's 75 cameras, coupled with several other accidents, made Wednesday's commute home even more nightmarish than usual.

"They're leaving a little early, they're leaving a little late," said Operations Manager Jim Mallory. "They're changing their lifestyle to try to make this thing work. It's worked. Until today."

Mallory says the nearly four weeks since the Sherman Minton closed have been a baptism-by-fire. Trimarc is constantly tweaking traffic patterns, but continues to learn on the job.

"Probably 179 days from now, we'll still probably be making little changes to make it run better that 180th day, praying the 180th day is the last day," Mallory said.

One pattern they have noticed is that while the morning rush hour is manageable, afternoon traffic isn't getting any lighter. Trimarc officials say the bridges now get backed up as early as 2 p.m., and don't clear up until after seven.  

Officials aren't sure why; perhaps employers are being less flexible about shifting hours or telecommuting than they were a few weeks ago. Regardless, if you throw in a few accidents like those on Wednesday, officials say the only thing they can do is urge drivers to remain patient.

"Very frustrating," said one driver who stopped for gas. "But there's nothing you can do. Everyone just has to deal with it and try to be nice to each other."

While there may be some minor tweaks, the Transportation Cabinet says it doesn't expect to make any major changes to traffic patterns anytime soon.

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