The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Restore 64 project, involving the restoration of Interstate 64 (Riverside Expressway) along the riverfront in downtown Louisville, Ky., is now complete, and the newly resurfaced lanes are open to traffic. Contractor Gohmann Asphalt & Construction Inc., Clarksville, Ind., put finishing touches to this $53-million, fast-track project in late July, a week ahead of schedule.
Chief District 5 Engineer Matt Bullock says although the project took a lot of manpower, planning and coordination, it was worth the effort. "Restore 64 has been a huge success," he states. "We are extremely happy with the timely progress construction crews made on this enormous project."
Phase 1 of Restore 64 took place during weekends in June. Then, in early July, Riverside Expressway was closed to all traffic between 3rd and 22nd streets as contractors proceeded with Phase 2 of the project. That closure remained in effect during the next three weeks.
For Restore 64, crews worked around-the-clock to repair and resurface 21 lane miles of highway, repair 132 expansion joints, construct new barrier walls, repair structural steel components, and replace overhead signs. Major repairs had not been performed on I-64 since its construction 40 years ago. And the wear and tear of approximately 100,000 cars and trucks a day had taken its toll on the interstate.
According to District 5 Construction Engineer Chris Poe, a total of 78,133.14 tons of asphalt (including base, level and wedge, and Rosphalt) were placed during Restore 64.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has been taking some innovative approaches to highway projects in an effort to limit the impact on drivers, decrease construction zone accidents and save costs. Examples include working only at night, on weekends, or closing the road to complete the job quickly.
Shutting down I-64 was determined to be the most efficient and cost-effective method of tackling Restore 64. The closure allowed crews to work in a safe, uninterrupted environment. It also saved taxpayers the cost of an extended construction season that would have normally closed a few lanes at a time and would have lasted months.