10:20am

Mon September 26, 2011
The Commonwealth

Engineers Inspecting Louisville Bridge

A thorough inspection of the Sherman Minton Bridge could be completed in about a week, after which engineers will determine the extent of the repair job ahead and how long the I-64 span connecting Louisville and southern Indiana will be closed.

The bridge was shut down September 9th after inspectors discovered a crack in a load-bearing support structure. Officials said Friday the crackhas been fixed, but inspections continue. The crack dates back to 1962, the year the bridge was built.

Engineer Gary Panariello says the inspection has turned up other cracks, but nothing as serious as the one that forced the shutdown.

"You'll find various imperfections in the welds. These can be lack of fusion or slag that's in the weld or microcracks or other things. Some of them are significant, some of them are not. Part of this process and why there's multiple levels of testing is to help determine between what's benign and what needs to be dealt with."

Officials determined last week that the nearly 50 year old bridge will not have to be replaced.