Loud booms heard in Jeffersonville for Ohio River Bridges Projec - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Loud booms heard in Jeffersonville for Ohio River Bridges Project

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Loud booms were heard in Jeffersonville Thursday.

A crane stood by the Kennedy Bridge. That was a testing site for the Downtown Crossing and where the loud booms came from.

Some Jeffersonville residents saw the smoke too, signaling yet another test for the Downtown Crossing. Walsh Construction was assessing the sturdiness of a test shaft near Riverside Drive in Jeffersonville doing four tests, which made four loud cannon or fireworks sounds.

Rebecca Rafferty lives close to the Kennedy Bridge and heard it all. She says, "It was just a loud boom and the house shook and thank goodness I knew about it because it was scary."

Walsh is simulating the impact of a vessel striking the pier. The tests are to prepare for building the piers for the new Downtown Crossing which will have four piers on land and five in the water.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says, "Bulldozers and drilling rigs are readying the ground. Barges and boats are surveying the river's floor and hundreds of workers are getting started on the biggest bi-state construction project in the history of our two states."

At a breakfast, Beshear met with Greater Louisville Inc. to talk about the Ohio River Bridges Project.

The Downtown Crossing will include a new bridge between Jeffersonville and Louisville. The East End Bridge will connect Prospect to Utica.

Beshear says, "In April of 2016, Walsh plans to move traffic off the 50-year-old Kennedy Bridge and onto the new bridge, so that crews can then overhaul the Kennedy Bridge. When the work there is finished, we will move all northbound traffic to the new bridge and all southbound traffic to the Kennedy Bridge."

He says once the Bridges Project is complete, there will be 12 interstate lanes across the Ohio river, instead of the current seven.

Beshear says, "At this point, the schedule calls for the East End Crossing to open in October of 2016 and the Downtown Crossing to open two months later and when they open, tolling will begin."

Arik Quam with Walsh Construction says, "I want to stress that we will maintain two lanes in each direction on all interstates through construction."

Rafferty says, "I really dread all the mess that is going to be going on."

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