As the Sherman Minton Renewal enters Phase Four, the project team is announcing an updated schedule that puts traffic into its permanent configuration—westbound traffic on top deck, eastbound traffic on bottom deck—by late spring 2024. Additional incidental work with limited impact on traffic will carry over into late summer.
The new schedule accounts for industry-wide delays that have impacted the Sherman Minton Renewal and other infrastructure projects across the country.
“We truly appreciate the community’s patience as we revitalize this important link between Louisville and New Albany,” said Danny Corbin, Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) project manager. “Early on, the public made it clear that it preferred a longer construction schedule with more access instead of a complete closure. Even with the modified schedule, we will continue to maintain access to the bridge during the vast majority of construction and continue progress in the safest manner possible for both motorists and workers.”
For the past two years, material and labor shortages have hampered progress on major construction projects throughout the region. Increased time to manufacture and fabricate critical components, and delivery lead times that in some cases have more than quadrupled, have challenged the project schedule.
“Crews have been working extra hours to recover the schedule but have experienced delays outside of our control in getting the materials and workforce we need,” said Royce Meredith, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) project manager. “This is not unlike what we’ve seen on other major projects, especially where steel and concrete are the primary components.”
The announcement of the updated schedule follows lengthy consultations between the project sponsors (INDOT and KYTC) and the contractor, Kokosing Construction Company. The nature of the public-private partnership agreement (PPA), including the language surrounding the number and duration of closures allowed each year, meant reaching a contractual agreement before the new timeline could be announced.
Under the amended agreement, the bridge will continue to remain open 95 percent of the time, and the public will continue to be notified well in advance of any significant restrictions.
Work on Phase Four began in mid-November and includes structural steel repair and replacement, bridge painting, pavement preservation, and concrete bridge deck replacement on the final section of the top westbound deck. Traffic will remain restricted to one westbound lane on the upper deck. One westbound lane and two eastbound lanes will be open on the bottom deck.