The Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville is getting a $90 million face-lift, and it could spell delays for commuters.
The project, named the Sherman Minton Renewal, is a partnership between Kentucky and Indiana. Work includes structural steel repairs, deck replacements and new paint, adding up to 30 years of service life to the bridge, officials said.
Project Manager Mary Johamman said transportation officials will have to decide whether they should close the entire bridge for the construction.
“We’re talking about 90,000 vehicles a day that cross this bridge, and those folks would have to find another way to get across during construction,” Johamman said. “There’s a huge trade-off with that, and so our team is tasked with gathering information and input from the public to help make a recommendation to the two states.”
In a news release, officials said without the repairs, there will be increasing maintenance costs and potential disruptions in travel.
“[We] have talked about how important it is to keep this bridge in service and how critical it is to maintain and preserve it,” Johamman said. “The Sherman Minton renewal will do just that, breathing new life into this 56-year-old structure.”
Federal and state money will fund the project. Indiana Department of Transportation Project Manager Ron Heustis expects Kentucky will pay for 55% of the project and Indiana will pay 45%. Those funds would cover costs for an environmental study by the Federal Highway Administration and other agencies to analyze the social, economic and environmental impacts of the project so they can avoid or minimize them.
Open House forums to gather public feedback are scheduled for Oct. 2 from 5:30 — 7:30 p.m. at Scribner Middle School in New Albany, Indiana, and Oct. 4 from 5:30 — 7:30 p.m. at the Chestnut Street Family YMCA in Louisville.
Construction is expected to start in 2021, and will take up to three years to complete.