$80 million Sherman Minton rehabilitation project will shut bridge down for months

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two public hearings and a virtual presentation on the Sherman Minton Bridge renovation project are scheduled for Tuesday.

The Indiana Finance Authority chose Kokosing Construction Co. last month as its preferred choice to head the upgrades to the Interstate 64 connection between Louisville and New Albany, Ind., and approach roads on both sides of the Ohio River.

The in-person hearings seek public comments on that selection and the terms of the project’s “public-private agreement.” The first event will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Sheraton Louisville Riverside Hotel, 700 W. Riverside Drive in Jeffersonville.

The second hearing is set for 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Calumet Club, 1614 E. Spring Street in New Albany.

The hearings are required under Indiana law.

State officials also have an online WebEx presentation scheduled for noon Tuesday. The same information will be provided at all three of the meetings, according to the finance authority.

People can comment on the project by speaking during the in-person hearings; submitting written remarks before those hearings end; or emailing info@shermanmintonrenewal.com by 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The virtual presentation can be accessed here.

The Indiana agency’s board selected Kokosing after reviewers judged it and another proposer based on price and technical aspects. Ohio-based Kokosing’s cost estimate was $137 million, up from earlier estimates of around $90 million.

The increase was a result of additional structural steel and concrete repairs and “allowances” for structural repairs and pavement patching, project spokeswoman Andrea Brady said in December. The costs of traffic maintenance to meet the desired number of days of full closures also contributed, she said.

Estimates call for the bridge to close for nine straight days and up to three weekends per year under a traffic plan the Indiana Department of Transportation released earlier this year. That approach would mean a full closure during 54 days of an anticipated 843 total days of work, or just over 6% of the time.

A final contract is expected to be awarded in late February or early March.

The project calls for replacing the 58-year-old bridge’s roadways, repairing drains, adding lights and painting.

In Kentucky, the roadways would be replaced on highway stretches leading up to the bridge. Other projects on that side of the river include painting and paving.

In Indiana, a stretch of I-64 northwest of the crossing would be resurfaced, as would portions of Spring, Elm and 5th streets in New Albany. I-64 over Market Street would be painted.

Kentucky and Indiana will share the project’s costs.

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