LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A traffic change will temporarily cut off a main artery linking southern Indiana drivers to Louisville, and the Indiana Department of Transportation admits there are better ways to get around it than the detour drivers will see. 

I-265 West to I-64 East, a common link for Floyd County drivers heading into Louisville on the Sherman Minton Bridge, will close from 8 p.m. on Friday, March 9, to 5 a.m. on the following Monday, March 12, for pavement repairs.

"You really have to prepare the bridge deck," said INDOT Spokesman Harry Maginity. "It's a very, very tough polymer, and then it's topped after two lifts."

Maginity said the closures will happen for three weekends, but not in a row, and at the same time, crews will repair small bridges on I-64 East and West over Captain Frank Road and Quarry Road. 

But the detour for I-265 West literally turns drivers around. INDOT's signs will backtrack traffic on I-265 East to I-65 South in Jeffersonville then cross the tolled Kennedy Bridge and reconnect with I-64 East in Louisville. The loop spans more than 10 miles, and frequent drivers like Angelia Barger do not plan to take it. 

"I was just like, 'Are they trying to raise the tolls for the weekends, or what?'" Barger said. "There's a better way. There's an easier way." 

Maginity said there is no statewide plot to drive traffic toward tolls but agrees locals like Barger will know better routes. 

"I have to stay on the interstate or an Indiana state highway for the official detour." Maginity said. 

Here are some alternatives to the flashing lights and orange signs drivers will see blocking the ramp at I-265 West:

  • Traffic can exit State Street in New Albany and stay on that road to cut through the city's downtown, re-entering I-64 East at Spring Street directly at the base of the Sherman Minton Bridge. It's two miles, free and takes about five minutes depending on traffic.
  • Drivers can also follow I-265 West to I-64 West and go to exit 118, Georgetown, or 119, Greenville. Both provide easy turnarounds to get back on I-64 the opposite direction. It's free, four to six miles out of the way and takes about five minutes depending on traffic. 

"They're not going to impact me at all, because I know all the New Albany streets," Barger said. "The ones passing through or trying to get into New Albany for events over the next couple of weekends ... they're going to have some issues and toll bills if they follow that (INDOT) detour.

Ragle, Inc. of Newburgh won the $4 million taxpayer-funded contract for the project. It is expected to be completed by the end of May.

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