LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The construction project along the southbound lanes of Interstate 71 in Louisville is just about halfway finished. Monday, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet provided WAVE 3 with a behind the scenes look at the work being done to rebuild the bridge decks to prepare for the paving project to begin in the next couple of weeks. The tour was meant to coincide with Work Zone Safety Week, which is April 23 through 27.
Kevin Bailey, an engineering supervisor with KYTC, said although there have been some traffic headaches, overall the project is moving along well.
"We're currently on schedule and we're hoping to get this done by the 30th and then we'll be able to take a break for Derby let everybody enjoy the festivities and we'll come back the weekend following Derby and begin on northbound," said Bailey.
When that switch takes place drivers may be in for another shock similar to the one they may have had when the construction began the Monday after spring break in Jefferson County., KYTC spokesperson Andrea Clifford said a complete shutdown of a stretch of I-71 is a must.
"When we switch over to do the bridge decks on the northbound side the weekend after Derby we're going to completely close both directions for one weekend," said Clifford. "We're going to pave the southbound direction that weekend. That will allow us to have paving trucks simultaneously going down both lanes at the same time."
The complete closure is tentatively set for the weekend of May 12, weather permitting. The closure will be along I-71 from the I-264 (Watterson Expressway) interchange to I-65 in Spaghetti Junction. Traffic will be detoured from the east via I-264 to I-64 and from downtown via I-64 or River Rd.
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