Major changes for drivers, as two-way traffic opens on Lincoln B - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Major changes for drivers, as two-way traffic opens on Lincoln Bridge

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A major change for drivers in southern Indiana, as traffic on I-65 South moves to the new Lincoln Bridge. 

Two lanes of southbound traffic shifted to the new bridge early Wednesday. But a single lane of southbound traffic remains on the Kennedy Bridge to allow access to Interstates 64 East and 71 North. The Lincoln Bridge opened to northbound traffic on Dec. 7. 

The shift will accommodate extensive improvements to the Kennedy Bridge.

Exit 0 to Jeffersonville is now closed, but the ramp from U.S. 31 south to Court Avenue is already open. So drivers have direct access to Louisville by using U. S. 31 or the Clark Memorial Bridge. 

This big shift in traffic means another long term ramp closure.  The ramp from I-65 South to I-64 West is now closed and won't reopen until the summer of 2016.  

A signed detour will be in place, directing drivers to I-264. During the closure, the current ramp will be demolished and a new ramp will be built.

Additional Traffic Changes

Drivers will notice additional changes on the Kentucky side of the river as the traffic shift is made. Drivers exiting from I-65 South to Jefferson Street will have an earlier decision point. The new access point to Jefferson Street will be just south of Witherspoon Street.

There will also be a new, temporary alignment for drivers traveling from I-65 South to I-64 East/I-71 North. They will have a later decision point. The split will be just east of Witherspoon Street. I-71 North traffic will split to the left.

Drivers need to slow down, avoid distractions and pay close attention to signage as they adjust to the traffic changes.

Kennedy Bridge Closures

Now that I-65 South is moving on the Lincoln Bridge, only one lane of southbound traffic is open on the Kennedy Bridge. That lane maintains access from I-65 South to I-64 East and I-71 North for now.

But the plan is to close that single lane of southbound I-65 in February, as the Kennedy is closed completely for a multi-million dollar renovation. It will remain closed for just over six months.

One lane on the Kennedy Bridge is expected to reopen around mid-August to restore access to I-64 West, I-64 East and I-71 North.

During the closure, a new floor system is being installed on the Kennedy Bridge. The $22 million in improvements are expected to add decades of new life to the 52-year old bridge.

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