Five southbound lanes of Kennedy Bridge to reopen by Monday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Five southbound lanes of Kennedy Bridge to reopen by Monday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kennedy Bridge is expected to reopen to southbound traffic Monday morning with more lanes open than originally expected.

Five lanes of southbound traffic will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday. Officials had previously announced that only three would open.

It’s welcome news to drivers exhausted from daily traffic backups.

“It's been absolutely terrible the last few years,” Eric Striegel said.

“Coming into Louisville, it's backed up for miles,” Ken Merrick said.

After the Lincoln Bridge opened, the Kennedy Bridge closed down for months to repair its bridge deck.

In addition to the lane openings, two key ramps will reopen: the ramp from I-65 South to I-64 East and the ramp from I-65 South to I-71 North. Mindy Peterson with the Downtown Crossing Project said opening those ramps will affect 22,000 drivers.

“Every piece of the puzzle you can get into place is just making life a little easier for drivers and getting us all closer to the finish line,” Peterson said.

However, the ramp from I-65 South to I-64 West will remain closed for a few more weeks.

Because of the changes coming to the Kennedy Bridge, drivers will also notice a change on the new Lincoln Bridge. It currently carries both north and southbound traffic, but come Monday morning, all lanes of traffic will be heading north.

In order to shift the southbound traffic completely onto the Kennedy Bridge, drivers should be prepared for weekend closures. Work will include paving, striping and removing barriers and barrels.

The following roads will be closed:

- Ramp from I-64 East to I-65 South

- Ramp from I-64 West to I-65 South

- Ramp from I-71 South to I-65 South

- Ramp from I-65 South to Jefferson Street/Brook Street

- One lane of I-65 South from the Lincoln Bridge to Muhammad Ali Boulevard

- One lane of I-65 North from Muhammad Ali Boulevard to the Lincoln Bridge

The closures are scheduled to begin around 9 p.m. Friday and end by 5 a.m. Monday.

Once the closures are complete drivers anticipate the extra lanes will be a game changer.

“Once there are two separate bridges, it's going to be awesome,” Striegel said. “It's going to be a dream.”

“I think it will cut down commutes for almost everybody.” Merrick said.

The Downtown Crossing Project has a completion date of Dec. 9, 2016, but Peterson said it may be finished before then.

Copyright 2016 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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