Sherman Minton Bridge inspections prepare for upcoming construction

By Hayley Robb, Building Kentucky

Photos: Courtesy of Kokosing Construction Company, Inc.

Bridge inspections were recently conducted on the 59-year-old Sherman Minton Bridge to prepare for construction, which is expected to begin late spring or early summer of this year.

The Project Team approved a Maintenance of Traffic approach in July 2020 that  ensures at least one lane of traffic in each direction remains open for nearly 95% of the time. Lanes will be closed in one direction for 54 days of the estimated 843 total days of work. Closures will be limited to nine consecutive days per direction in a calendar year and up to three 3-day weekends per direction each year.

This Maintenance of Traffic approach reflects the public’s preference for maximum access of the bridge during construction.

Bridge Inspections

Inspection work took place on the upper and lower decks of the bridge to prepare the Project Team for construction. Technicians used under-bridge inspection vehicles and man lifts to evaluate the condition of the bridge and take measurements of structural elements.

The information gathered verifies the repairs planned for construction and  builds upon the inspections conducted in April 2019.

The U.S. Department of Transportation requires safety inspections at least once every 2 years for highway bridges that exceed 20 feet in length located on public roads.

Rehabilitating The Sherman Minton Bridge

Although safe for travel, the 59-year-old bridge is deteriorating, and long-term repairs are needed to extend the life of the bridge. The Sherman Minton Renewal is a major bridge rehabilitation and painting project that will add up to 30 years of life to the bridge.

The double-decked bridge carries six lanes of traffic (I-64 and US 150) over the Ohio River connecting Louisville, Kentucky and New Albany, Indiana.

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