LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Three interstate ramps in downtown Louisville will close this weekend so crews can make safety improvements to the “Spaghetti Junction” interchange, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said Monday.
The work involves I-71 South to I-65 South; I-71 South to I-65 North; and I-64 West to I-65 South. The ramps are scheduled to close at 9 p.m. Friday and reopen at 5 a.m. Monday.
The junction had a $597 million makeover as part of the $2.3 billion Ohio River Bridges Project, but crashes in the area prompted state officials to make changes. The upcoming project would resurface and repair pavement on ramps to I-65 South and remove existing road markings, replacing them with new ones.
In one key change, the ramp where I-64 West and I-71 South merge while carrying traffic to I-65 South will be altered. That ramp now confronts drivers on I-71 with a narrowing right lane as they’re changing interstates.
“You won’t actually do that inside the curve anymore,” said Stephanie Caros, a Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman. “It’ll actually be before you get to the curve – just trying to do some things to make it more efficient, to make it a little bit easier for drivers who are coming through that area.”
The work is expected to cost about $500,000 and is being done by Louisville Paving and Reynolds Sealing & Striping under existing state contracts, according to the cabinet.
New overhead signs also would be added in the curve, as would “advance curve warning” and other signs to warn drivers.
There were at least four wrecks on the ramp from I-71S/I-64W to I-65 S in June alone, WDRB News reported earlier this summer, a spate of crashes that included eight over a two-month period.
The Federal Highway Administration has approved the changes.
During the upcoming closures, state officials plan to detour drivers using I-71 South and I-64 West to connect with I-65 near the airport by taking the Watterson Expressway.
I-64 East, including the ramps to I-65, won’t be affected by the work.
This story will be updated.