Saturday, May 18 2013 7:54 AM EDT2013-05-18 11:54:38 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Drivers are not the only ones hitting roadblocks when it comes to construction on the Kennedy Bridge. Heat is complicating matters for workers as WDRB News saw during a behind-the-scenes tour of the project Friday.
Are you sick of it yet? One road project after another, they seem to keep popping up once another project is finished. But maybe since we are getting an up-close inspection of the work being done on the Kennedy Bridge, mindsets will change. We saw old, bent, expansion joints that were pulled out of the bridge to make room for new joints. "Definitely the work on the Kennedy Bridge is critical, anyone who's driven across it knows what a rough ride it was with all the potholes, also the expansion joints were old and deteriorated," said Andrea Clifford, with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
It is a lot of work, and a lot of noise. Workers use a process called hydro-demolition to knock out old concrete. "Some of the bad concrete that has deteriorated over time, they get rid of that to get ready for the new concrete," said Clifford.
One of the last state inspections of the bridge revealed parts of the Kennedy are in "poor" condition, but that the bridge was structurally sound overall. Drivers have been dealing with ramp closures, lane closures, and detours while bridge repairs continue. Workers take extra breaks in the heat, and even the concrete gets special treatment. "The concrete has a temperature limitation, we don't want it to get above 90 degrees because then it starts to set up before you're ready to have it formed into the lanes on the bridge. So what they've been doing at the concrete plant is compensating by putting ice in to keep it cooler," Clifford explained.
Despite the heat, Clifford says the project is on schedule to be wrapped up by August 15th. Northbound traffic should go back from one to two lanes by Friday, July 13th.