The reopening of the Sherman Minton Bridge won’t come before rush hour Monday morning due to added safety measures and weather delays.
Repair teams on the project will spend the weekend installing stabilizers and redundant bracing as they repair a loose bearing that led to the closure of the crossing. For enhanced safety, a digital monitoring system will be installed to provide continuous, real-time data on the structure throughout the remainder of the Sherman Minton Renewal Project.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety of residents and travelers who rely on this important connection between our two states,” said Royce Meredith, Project Manager with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).
Crews have been working around the clock to inspect, troubleshoot and repair a loose bearing that led to the closure of the crossing on July 27.
The bearing connects the steel superstructure components of the 60-year-old bridge to its concrete substructure. As part of the extraordinary repair effort, engineers and contractors are working to secure the bearing to the pier. The complexity of the bridge structure and repair itself has proven to be an added challenge.
Engineers from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and KYTC emphasized that a robust series of inspections which have been ongoing throughout the project will continue throughout the weekend repair work, with safety being the driving factor for opening the bridge.
Drivers are adjusting to the need to take alternate routes during this important repair process. Additional cross-river capacity made possible with recent bi-state investments in infrastructure have made this possible.
“This repair, in tandem with the planned rehabilitation, will ensure the safety of the crossing today, throughout the remainder of construction, and for the 30-year service life for which this project was programmed,” said Danny Corbin, Major Project Delivery Project Manager, INDOT.
Engineering and construction crews are working to restore two-way traffic on the bridge’s lower deck as soon as possible. The top deck of the bridge is anticipated to open later once further construction can be completed.
All safety specifications required by KYTC, INDOT and the Federal Highway Administration will be met before the crossing is reopened. More information will be shared as it is available.