What is the Sherman Minton Renewal?
The Sherman Minton Renewal is a major bridge rehabilitation and painting project that will significantly extend the service life of the 57-year-old bridge. The double-decked bridge carries six lanes of traffic (I-64 and US 150) over the Ohio River connecting Louisville, KY and New Albany, IN.
This is an extensive rehabilitation project. There are five bridge structures associated with the Sherman Minton crossing. The project scope of work includes replacement or refurbishment of all bridge decks, rehabilitation or replacement of structural steel elements and hanger cables, new lighting, drainage repairs and painting of the steel components. The long-term repairs, along with normal preventive maintenance, will add up to 30 years of service life to the bridge.
Why is the work necessary?
While safe for travel, the 57-year-old bridge is deteriorating and long-term repairs are needed to extend the life of the bridge.
The significant overhaul is necessary to maintain this important cross-river connection. About 90,000 drivers rely on the iconic bridge to travel between Indiana and Kentucky on a daily basis. Without these extensive repairs, there will be increasing maintenance needs, costs and potential disruptions in travel.
Will the bridge remain open during the work?
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) are committed to delivering a safe and cost-effective project while working to minimize disruption to drivers. The project team is recommending a plan that will limit full closure of the bridge to only 54 total days of the estimated 843 total days of work.
The Preferred Alternative will ensure at least one lane of traffic in each direction will remain open for nearly 95% of the estimated three-year construction process. Closures will not be in one consecutive period, but will be limited to 9 consecutive days per direction in a calendar year and up to three 3-day weekends per direction per calendar year.
What is the Preferred Alternative identified for Sherman Minton Bridge construction?
The Preferred Alternative is a low-impact traffic approach that reflects the public’s preference for maintaining access across the bridge to the fullest extent possible during construction, while providing a safe environment for the driving public and the design-build contractor’s team.
- Cross-river traffic will be maintained with two eastbound and two westbound travel lanes open during the majority of construction.
- Temporary crossovers and additional temporary widening to ramp lanes will be implemented to facilitate the movement of traffic during construction.
- One eastbound and one westbound lane will be closed throughout construction.
- Existing access ramps will remain open during the majority of construction.
- Two eastbound and/or two westbound lanes and associated access ramps may be closed nightly during construction for up to 180 nights per calendar year.
When will a contractor be selected?
A contractor is expected to be selected in December 2020. This is a design-build best value project, which means price is not the only criteria that will determine which contractor is selected. This project delivery method invites innovative solutions to reduce impacts to the public.
When will construction begin?
Construction is anticipated to begin late spring or early summer 2021 and take approximately three years to complete.
Will there be any times when the contractor will not be allowed to work?
The design-build contractor will be permitted to work 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Changes in traffic patterns and full closures will not be allowed during certain holidays and other approved exceptions.
What is happening now?
The Environmental Document required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has been completed and comments were accepted through August 16, 2020. After considering all comments, the states will confirm the Preferred Alternative. Final approval of the Preferred Alternative will come from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Where can I view the Environmental Document?
The document is posted on the Project website (www.shermanmintonrenewal.com). It was also available for review at the following locations:
- INDOT Seymour Office, 185 Agrico Ln, Seymour, IN 47274
- TARC, 1000 W. Broadway, Louisville, KY 40203
- NIA Center, 2900 W. Broadway, Louisville, KY 40211
- Shively City Hall, 3920 Dixie Hwy, Shively, KY 40216
- Hope Southern Indiana, Brown-Starks Neighborhood Place, 1200 Bono Rd., New Albany, IN 47150
Can I submit a comment for the official record?
Public and agency comments were accepted through August 16, 2020. Comments were provided through:
- The “Contact Us” page on the Project website;
- by calling the project hotline;
- by emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org);
- by completing a comment card at one of the above locations; or
- by mailing comments to:
Michael Baker International
1650 Lyndon Farm Ct. #101
Louisville, KY 40223.
After considering all comments, the states will confirm the Preferred Alternative. Final approval of the Preferred Alternative will come from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Is the rehabilitation of the Sherman Minton Bridge the only work being done as part of the Sherman Minton Renewal?
No. The project extends from I-265 in Indiana to I-264 in Kentucky and includes the rehabilitation or refurbishment of one additional bridge on I-64 within the 3-mile corridor and painting of the eastbound bridge over Market St. By including this needed work in the Sherman Minton Renewal, a coordinated approach will help reduce impacts to the public.
How can the public be involved during the environmental process?
Public involvement is a key part of the environmental study process, and there are many ways for stakeholders to stay informed and share opinions. The Project Team hosted two open houses in fall 2018 and a second round of open houses in July 2019 to provide information about the project. The Project Team has met with Community Advisory Committee members and Environmental Justice Committee members, neighborhood and community groups, business organizations and other stakeholders throughout the project.
Project information is available online (www.shermanmintonrenewal.com) and on social media channels Facebook (Sherman Minton Renewal), Twitter (@ShermanRenewal) and Instagram (@ShermanMintonRenewal). In addition, members of the public can share comments by email at email@example.com or by completing a form on the Contact Us page of the website.
How much is construction expected to cost and how will it be paid for?
The cost of construction for the long-term structural rehabilitation and painting, combined with the cost of implementing a low-impact maintenance of traffic plan, is expected to be around $137 million. The federally approved maintenance of traffic plan, which limits full closure to only 54 total days out of estimated 843 days of work, reflects the public’s preference for maximum access to the bridge during construction.
The project is fully funded through federal and state highway funds.
Indiana and Kentucky will share in the cost of the work on the main spans of the Sherman Minton Bridge. INDOT will fund the cost of work on the Indiana approach bridges and some nearby improvements. KYTC will fund the cost of work on the Kentucky approach bridge.
Who is overseeing the work?
Indiana and Kentucky share responsibilities for the bridges connecting the two states. INDOT is the lead agency on this project and will oversee the contracts for design and construction of the overall project. Kentucky will reimburse Indiana for its share of the work.
Will the Sherman Minton Bridge be tolled to pay for the project?
No. The project is fully funded, with no plans to toll the Sherman Minton Bridge.
If the Sherman Minton Bridge is closed for construction work, will tolls be waived on the three tolled bridges connecting Southern Indiana and Louisville during the work?
Toll revenue from the Lewis and Clark, Lincoln and Kennedy bridges is used to meet the financial obligations of the Ohio River Bridges Project and for operations and maintenance of those bridges. Tolling will remain in place on those bridges to meet those financial obligations.
Does the Sherman Minton Renewal include the addition of bicycle or pedestrian lanes?
No. This is a rehabilitation project only, the purpose of which is to rehabilitate an aging and deteriorating structure. The scope of work does not include an expansion of the current footprint of the Sherman Minton Bridge corridor. A bicycle pedestrian connection between New Albany and West Louisville could be considered by the states as a potential project for the future.