Friday, September 23, 2011

Detour For Kentucky Visitors.

As I told you last month, fall is a great time to visit bourbon country, but there is a ground transportation problem you need to know about.

One of the three Ohio River bridges at Louisville, the Sherman Minton (I-64), is closed for repairs for the foreseeable future. This is an unplanned, emergency closure, so detour plans are being improvised.

Traffic is mainly being diverted to the John F. Kennedy Bridge (I-65), which is leading to long backups on it, depending on time of day, especially for drivers trying to access I-64 or I-71 on the Kentucky side. My tip is stay to the left as you cross and exit at either Liberty Street or St. Catherine Street, and take surface streets back to the interstate. You'll need a good map, of course, but it's pretty easy.

As for alternatives, there are bridges between Cincinnati and Louisville at Lawrenceburg and Madison, Indiana. The next one south of the Sherman Minton (I-64) is the Matthew E. Welsh Bridge at Brandenburg, KY. These are two lane bridges not directly connected to any interstate and, as such, probably won't be the publicized detours.

Brandenburg is an especially good choice if you are coming from the west and heading to Bardstown or anywhere south of Louisville, as it is just west of Fort Knox. Work your way from there to Elizabethtown, where you can pick up the Bluegrass Parkway to points east.

There is also the William Natcher Bridge at Owensboro, KY, which is new and a real beauty.

These detours have the added benefit of taking you through some very scenic countryside and while the roads aren't interstates they are generally pretty good.

The third bridge at Louisville, by the way, is just west of the Kennedy. Officially it's the George Rogers Clark Bridge but locals call it Second Street Bridge. It might be an alternative. It's easy to find on the Louisville side (just go north on Second Street), a bit harder in Jeff (local shorthand for Jeffersonville, Indiana).

1 comment:

Rob K said...

Squire Boone Cavern is just a few miles north of the Brandenburg Bridge also. It makes a good side-trip.