LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Drivers are in for a change on I-65 in downtown Louisville, as lanes are shifted and--in in some areas--reduced.

The first major stretch of new roadway under the Ohio River Bridges Project will open this weekend. From Muhammad Ali Blvd. to Witherspoon St., drivers will be shifted over to new alignments.

Project officials say the lanes will be shifted to the outside, allowing work to begin inside the lanes of traffic.

At a press conference Wednesday, officials also announced the firm date for the closure of the Second Street Bridge. The bridge will close Tuesday July 8, and remain close for six weeks.

Max Rowland with Walsh Construction says the changes should not cause any confusion or increase commute times.

"Follow the stripe lanes because it will route you right where you need to go," said Rowland. "once the shift is made, and I would say within a short time, they are going to learn the new pattern and it won't be any different as it is now."

Rowland said the biggest change is going to be felt by workers, as safety is a major concern with the shift. With traffic on both sides of the construction zone, Walsh is taking extra precautions to protect their employees.

In some parts of the stretch, there will be a reduction from three to two lanes.

"If you're coming around from I-64 to I-71, you currently lose that outside lane," said Andy Barber of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. "Now you lose it earlier. But you still have two lanes of I-65 which is our focus."

And some drivers are looking at the bright side, saying the frustrations will be worth it in the end.

"Traffic will be better for everybody," said Richard Thurman. "I've been here a long time, and I hope to be here for a long time to come so I'm waiting for the benefit."

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