Part of Interstate 71 will be shut down this weekend - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Part of Interstate 71 will be shut down this weekend

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A portion of Interstate 71 will be shut down in both directions this weekend, from downtown Louisville to the Watterson Expressway starting at 8:00 Friday night through Monday morning at 6:00.

Crews will repair bridge decks on the northbound lanes and repave on the southbound lanes. Transportation officials say the total shutdown is safer for workers, is more efficient, and saves money.

I-71 drivers should use I-64 and the Watterson Expressway, Brownsboro Road, and River Road as alternate routes.  Drivers will also find lanes closed on I-65 through Louisville.

Even before I-71 shut down, business owners said they noticed an impact on Thursday, the day before it closed.

"Yesterday the traffic was bad. I mean, this place was like a fishbowl. I know what time of day it is by what car I see, so when all of a sudden you see a bunch of cars like this, I don't even get dizzy anymore if I sit out here because there's no movement," says Skiles Keith, owner of the bike shop called The Black Spring.

"It was backed up from 4:30 until 6:00, so I imagine this weekend is gonna be quite a bit worse," says Jon Gudmundsson, owner of River Road BBQ.

While it may be a headache for some drivers, these business owners in the middle of it all are trying to stay positive.

They're hoping more traffic, leads to more business.

"I'd love to see us sell out of all of our product and everybody have a good BBQ dinner," says Jon Gudmundsson, owner of River Road BBQ.

"Some people get frustrated and I've had someone come in and buy a bike just to get downtown. I'll make deals. I mean, I'll thrown in a basket," says Skiles Keith, owner of The Black Spring.

Officials with the Transportation Cabinet say that even with some rain being predicted on Sunday, work is still going on right now as scheduled.

They hope to have most of the paving done by Saturday night, and will then work on striping and some other details on Sunday.

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