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Sherman Minton bridge closing brings stress to commuters

By Claire Defrancisci

Regular commuters on the Sherman Minton bridge were surprised with an uncommon amount of traffic on I-64 in the last week. The traffic stretched all the way to Paoli Pike and made going and leaving Louisville into Indiana a challenging and frustrating task.

“I went to Louisville the other day and it took me an hour to get to the bridge. It was terrible,” said sophomore Sloane Lewis.

Despite the nuisance of needing to take alternate routes and sitting in what seems like never ending lines of cars, the closure of the Sherman Minton bridge last Friday afternoon was a matter of safety. The bridge, built in 1962, was found to have structural cracks in it. The cause of the cracks and the amount of time that the bridge will be closed is unknown.

In August 2007 the Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, causing dozens of cars to fall into the river. By closing the Sherman Minton bridge before a disaster of that measure could have occurred, the engineers and officials possibly saved countless lives.

The traffic could affect businesses in the downtown New Albany and Louisville area and the commute to work for many parents and teachers. Students who have jobs may also be affected as well.

“I work at Jeffersonville Aquatic Center and I have to wake up an hour earlier, take side streets, and there’s still traffic. It used to take me 20 minutes to get to work; now it takes me an hour, ” said sophomore Lexi Miyahara.

History teacher Donovan Robinson has a particularly hard time with the traffic, because he lives in Louisville.

“Coming to work is fine but leaving work takes me almost an hour longer to get home. I think it’s better in the mornings because more people are going into Louisville instead of out of it,” said Robinson.

Tips for dealing with the potentially heavy traffic include: allowing extra time to get to your destination, selecting alternate routes, and remembering that a little patience will go a long way.