Southern Indiana drivers prepare for closure of U.S. Route 31 So - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Southern Indiana drivers prepare for closure of U.S. Route 31 South

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-65 on the way to work in southern Indiana is about to get worse.

It's five minutes from the car at home to the cash register at Orange Clover for Rachel Cox -- at least in theory.  

"So I live in Clarksville," Cox said. "I take off Eastern Boulevard to Exit 1. Very very very, congested there's been plenty of times where I've been 30 minutes late to work because of all the traffic."

Cox, like many other drivers, should leave extra early Monday morning. U.S. Route 31 South is closing at Exit 1. 

"What they (drivers) lose with the ramp closure is direct access to Court Avenue and direct access to the Clark Memorial Bridge," said Mindy Peterson, a spokeswoman for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Additionally they lose a common escape from gridlock on I-65 south. 

Many drivers get off at Exit 1, sneak down U.S. Route 31 and cross into Louisville on the Second Street Bridge instead. 

"What drivers will do is continue on 65 South," Peterson said. "That's going to take them to westbound Market Street. They'll take a right on Missouri, and once there, they can take pick their path."

Demolition is expected to start the same day as the change. 

Crews will build new connections to the Clark Memorial Bridge.  It will go into September but Orange Clover, sitting right in the heart of construction, says the closure won't hurt business.  

It's not the only change coming next week. We're told the temporary Stansifer ramp into Jeffersonville goes away Thursday. 

"So if you're on 65 North and you know you want to go to Stansifer Avenue, what your going to do is follow 10th Street, and then...you'll have access to the new Stansifer ramp," Peterson said. 

If you're coming over the Kennedy Bridge it essentially puts three exits into one. Drivers will have to choose between Court Avenue, 10th Street and Stansifer from Exit 0. 

It's all part of the billion dollar bridges project. They are growing pains for sure. 

"It's really annoying," Cox said, laughing. "But I know in the long run, it's going to help, and ease the flow of traffic, so that's good."

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