JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) – The Jeffersonville Police Department hosted a Thunder Over Louisville media briefing Tuesday to provide information on the traffic patterns, schedules, barricades, and new changes for this year’s event.
The overarching message was for residents and visitors to create a game plan ahead of time and for everyone to be patient and alert during the festivities.
Crews will be staging barricades and barriers in different parts of town throughout the week, but the first closure won’t start until 9:45 a.m. Thursday, when the Second Street Bridge will close. It will open by 2 p.m. Sunday.
Then, the Fourth Street Bridge will close Friday for the air show practice run. It will remain closed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.
“Without an air show practice run, there will be no air show," said Maj. Josh Lynch with the Jeffersonville Police Department. "And we have to close the walking bridge so that they can have the air show, because the walking bridge is in that air box.”
Finally, at 8 a.m. Saturday, traffic barricades will go up, and the parking restrictions will start.
“At that time, 8 a.m., motorists can pass through security checkpoints, but they must have a parking pass,” Lynch said.
To help anyone make plans, the Jeffersonville Police Department shared this picture on its Facebook page of the areas that will be blocked off on Saturday for only pedestrian traffic:
You will need a parking pass if you live, work or are visiting someone in this area. You can get those passes at the Jeffersonville Police Department.
WATERFRONT EVENT AREA ACCESS
The main entry points to the event area will be on:
The handicap parking entrance is on Spring Street. Lynch warns there will be limited handicap parking, so arrive early if you need that.
New this year, there will be extra security measures. Lynch said the police department has “increased our capabilities with video surveillance.” Officers will also have access to all the live video feeds from the Indiana State Police helicopters.
Lynch said to better protect pedestrians, there will also be more barricades set up this year to create a stronger barrier between visitors and traffic.
The Jeffersonville Fire Department warned that open fire pits and fireworks will not be allowed in backyards for those who live in the above outlined event area. The smoke and flashes can detract from the real event.
As always, alcohol in open containers in the public event area is not allowed. But there are other items that will be banned this year:
To get safety updates sent straight to your cell phone or smartphone, text "INThunder" to 888-777. You will receive information about places or traffic routes to avoid, safety tips,or any emergencies.
Once all the fun is over, then the long journey home begins.
“If it takes 14 hours to get 200,000 people into that area, it’s going to take more than 15 minutes to get everyone out,” Lynch said.
The Jeffersonville Police Department released a map of three different routes officers will be directing outgoing traffic toward. Drivers can use Market, Eighth, or Spring Streets to get to the interstate and head home.
Lynch said Spring Street is usually very busy. He suggested more people try to use Utica Pike to avoid heavy traffic.
FROM THE WATER
If you’re taking in the show from the water, Lt. Mike Metz with the U.S. Coast Guard warns boaters to be extra cautious.
“The additional concerns we have are with regards to high water and strong currents,” Metz said.
And with added debris in the water from flooding, the Coast Guard is creating a safety zone this year. No boats will be able to enter the water extending from McAlpine Locks and Dam to 200 yards up river from the Big Four Bridge. Lynch added there is a chance they could extend that safety zone all the way to Cox’s Park depending on how strong the currents are.
Lynch also warned many of the docks are still flooded, so there are limited locations to moor.
Representatives from the Jeffersonville Police Department, Jeffersonville Fire Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Clarksville Police Department, Clarksville Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard were on hand to answer questions.
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