Exploratory Tunnel Follows
KY 841 Off-ramp Work
Preliminary work on one of the most notable design features of the Ohio River Bridges Project is set to begin in the fall of 2007. Engineers plan to dig an exploratory tunnel beneath U.S. 42 to gather geotechnical information, data that will be used in the design of a 2,000-foot, six-lane traffic tunnel.
Once the KY 841 Snyder Freeway off-ramp is relocated, letting for the exploratory tunnel can begin. Crews began work at the intersection in July 2006 and have completed significant blasting and alignment work. They are currently in a winter shut-down, but once the cold weather subsides, paving and other temperature-dependent activities can begin. The projected completion date for the ramp relocation is April 2007.
The old KY 841 off-ramp will be used as access for the exploratory tunnel, which will extend approximately 1,000 feet under U.S. 42. The tunnel will not open out on the north side of the highway. Weather permitting, it is anticipated that the exploratory bore will take approximately six months to complete.
“The tunnel design calls for six lanes, three in each direction,
running about 2,000 feet from one end to the other,” said Jerry
Leslie, design manager for the Kentucky East End Approach design
section. “Accurate geotechnical information is vital
to the design of such a prominent feature of the
The eventual tunnel will be the largest in the Kentuckiana region, and one of the largest in the state. Ventilation, lighting and other systems will be run by computer.
When the ramp relocation work is complete, the new KY 841 off-ramp
will run parallel to the existing on-ramp. The ramp relocation is expected to improve traffic
flow in the area by widening U.S. 42 at the 841 intersection. In addition, a traffic light will be added at
the KY 841/U.S. 42 intersection and synchronized with the light
Work on the exploratory tunnel will follow completion of the
KY 841 ramp relocation. Leslie
explained that the exploratory tunnel bore will provide engineers
with geologic information important to the design of the twin 2,000-foot
tunnels below US 42 that will carry traffic to and from the
Tunnel engineer Ray Blanchard, working with the Lochner Design
Team, explained that the bore will be approximately 12 feet high,
12 feet wide and 1,800 feet long, extending from KY 841 beneath
US 42, but not extending completely through on the northern end.
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