The $90+ million bridge rehabilitation and painting project will significantly extend the service life of the 57-year-old Sherman Minton 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, 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.
For more information about the Sherman Minton Renewal project, download the fact sheet here.
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 daily rely on the iconic bridge to travel between Indiana and Kentucky. 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. There are no plans to fully close the bridge for a 2 to 3 year time period. The project team is exploring multiple options, including lane restrictions or some closures during the anticipated 2-3 year construction period.
Partial closures (lane restrictions) would maintain traffic, but would create traffic delays, extend the timeline and increase costs. A full bridge closure would provide full access for construction and reduce the timeline and costs, but would create more impacts to traffic.
The Project Team is working with state, local and federal agencies and will seek input from the public before recommending a final approach for FHWA approval. A recommendation is expected in winter 2020 (Q1).
What maintenance of traffic options are being considered?
There are six maintenance of traffic options currently being considered. A combination of these options is likely to be used.
- Two lanes, two decks open (Option 1)
- One lane, two decks open (Option 2)
- Full closure (Option 5)
- One deck closure, alternating directions AM/PM (Option 3)
- Reversible lanes AM/PM (Option 4)
- One direction, two phases (Option 6)
When will a contractor be selected?
A contractor is expected to be selected by fall 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 in early 2021.
How long will the project take?
The project will require two to three years to complete, depending on the final scope of the work and the approach to construction and closures. Construction duration timeframes have been estimated for each maintenance of traffic option; timeframes range from 15-38 months; the shortest anticipated duration is associated with a full closure and the longest duration is associated with the “one-deck open” options.
What is happening now?
INDOT and KYTC have initiated an environmental study for the project, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The study is required for all federally-funded transportation projects, such as the Sherman Minton Renewal. The environmental study will include an analysis of the temporary impacts of the project, and consideration of ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate those impacts.
Indiana and Kentucky will implement a public involvement plan as a part of the environmental study. In addition, the study will include coordination with local, state and federal agencies, such as Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, state and local environmental agencies.
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 get 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. Two public hearings will be held in early 2020, one in Louisville and one in Southern Indiana. The Project Team will also meet with neighborhood and community groups, business organizations and other stakeholders.
In addition to this website, project information is available on social media channels (Twitter: @ShermanRenewal, Instagram: @ShermanMintonRenewal, Facebook: Sherman Minton Renewal). Members of the public can also share comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
How much is construction expected to cost?
The long-term structural rehabilitation work is expected to cost around $65 million. Another $25 million will be spent to paint the bridge, extending the life of the steel components and protecting the investment being made in the rehabilitation work. The total investment is expected to be $90+ million.
How will the construction be paid for?
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.