NEW DECK IS BEING POURED ON KENNEDY BRIDGE
Work to shift to the east side of the bridge next month
Photos from Ohio River Bridges Project
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 19, 2016) – A new deck is being poured on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge, marking the final stage of major improvements underway on the west side of the bridge. Crews with Walsh Construction will shift their attention next month to the east side of the bridge. A new floor system is being installed as part of the work on the Downtown Crossing portion of the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project. The improvements are expected to add decades of new life to the 52-year old bridge.
Demolition work started in December, right after I-65 South traffic moved to the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge. Crews removed the old deck and old steel, and have spent the past several months installing new steel on the west side of the bridge.
The new floor system is being built on top of existing floor beams, with all new stringers, bearings and diaphragms the length of the Kennedy Bridge. In all, more than 3.5 million pounds of steel are being replaced.
Stringers are the primary vertical support members of the floor system, running with traffic. After putting in new stringers, crews installed stay-in-place metal decking and added reinforcing steel (rebar) before pouring the concrete. The new deck will include nearly 6,000 cubic yards of concrete and 2.6 million pounds of reinforcing steel.
Phase Two Work to Begin in June
The final concrete pour on the west side of the bridge is expected in June, which will complete phase one of improvements on the Kennedy. Phase two work will begin in June, with the same steps repeated on the east side of the Kennedy – demolition, removing old steel, adding new steel, installing stay-in-place decking, adding rebar and eventually pouring a new deck. The work on the east side of the Kennedy is expected to continue into October.
A new approach on I-65 South (Indiana approach) is also being built, with complete removal of the existing approach. The new approach includes 4.1 million pounds of new steel beams and 2,100 cubic yards of new concrete.
Work Remains on Schedule
The Kennedy Bridge is expected to remain closed to traffic until late October. When it opens in October, it will carry two through lanes of southbound traffic. Access will also be restored from I-65 South to I-64 West, I-64 East and I-71 North.
By late this year, the Kennedy is expected to fully open to carry six lanes of southbound traffic, and the Abraham Lincoln Bridge will carry six lanes of northbound traffic.