10 votes

Sherman Minton Bridge



Photo taken June 2005 by James Adorno

BH Photo #103323


Street Views 


The bridge was named the most beautiful long-span bridge of 1961 by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).


Double Decker Two-span steel through arch bridge over Ohio River on I-64 between New Albany and Louisville in Louisville
Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, and Floyd County, Indiana
Open to traffic
Built 1961; rehabilitated 1997 and 2011/12; closed on September 9, 2011 due to cracks in the main load-bearing structural element; reopened on February 17/18, 2012
- Burgess & Niple of Columbus, Ohio
Steel through arch main span
warren deck truss approach spans
Length of largest span: 800.0 ft.
Total length: 2,052.9 ft. (0.4 mi.)
Deck width: 42.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.3 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.27842, -85.82143   (decimal degrees)
38°16'42" N, 85°49'17" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/603084/4237363 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New Albany
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
Inventory numbers
KY 056-B00279N (Kentucky bridge number)
BH 18841 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 50 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 8, 2018: New photo from J.P.
  • July 4, 2017: Updated by Matthew Hill: Minor fixes
  • February 18, 2017: New photo from Daniel Barnes
  • September 25, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • August 2, 2014: New photos from Andrew Raker
  • July 10, 2014: New photo from Andrew Raker
  • July 9, 2014: New photos from Andrew Raker
  • June 29, 2014: New Street View added by Ralph Demars
  • February 17, 2012: Updated by J.P.: Bridge is reopened
  • October 8, 2011: New photo from J.P.
  • October 8, 2011: Photos imported by Luke Harden
  • September 15, 2011: Updated by J.P.: added builder
  • September 9, 2011: Updated by Joseph Nield: Bridge closed by order of Indiana Governor after inspections uncovered cracks in load bearing portion of structure.
  • June 30, 2010: New photo from J.P.
  • April 15, 2010: New Street View added by J.P.
  • November 16, 2008: Updated by Kim Harvey: approach spans warren truss
  • October 12, 2008: New photo from Rick Mattioni
  • October 10, 2005: Posted photo from James Adorno



Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted April 23, 2019, by Jim Lueken (lueken [at] bellsouth [dot] net)

Big plans to renovate this bridge. See State highway department link.


Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted February 17, 2012, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)
Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted February 14, 2012, by J.P.

News is that the Bridge might be reopened a week early. And with that you just heard Southern Indiana, the Kennedy, and 2nd street bridge say Thank God!!!!


Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted January 25, 2012, by J.P.

The bridge is on tract to be reopened as of March 2nd. Guess we will see what happens, and Fingers Crossed


Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted November 27, 2011, by james (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

My friend, lets reconsider the whole subject of repainting bridges and the city of Louisville, KY. Surely, you have a noble idea and in the real world your idea would have a very high possibility of working. However, in the alternate universe otherwise known as Louisville, KY, your idea can be pretty much chalked up as impossible. Lets look at Louisville's track record of bridge painting. 100% epic fail.

1. Kennedy Bridge (I-65): Incomplete repainting projects 2X failure and what is worse is the second effort was a three toned white-green-brown color scheme that got only one third completed. Both repainting efforts resulted in the city losing millions because the firms responsible for the projects ran off with the money before the project is complete. Only 3rd time was a charm except for the fact that the paint job is only 3 years old and it is now starting to peel in places and is becoming discolored due to exhaust fumes from all the traffic.

2. Second Street Bridge (US 31): Due to the construction of "Rick Patino's Wonderland" otherwise known as the KFC YUM Center someone had the bright idea (or not so bright) to paint the SSB a color that would contrast with, and at the same time, bring attention to the stadium. Well, this idea got its inspiration from places like Cincinnati where their bridges are colorful and contrast nicely with its many sports arenas. However, the inspiration is note worthy, but not reproduceable. Why? Well like I said, Louisville, KY is an alternate universe where stuff that would normally work out in the real world will not here. With that being said, the dreamers in "Da Ville" set out to paint the SSB to go along with the KFC YUM Center. However there is a small problem--U of L colors do not contrast nicely with the color of the SSB. The color of the SSB is a drab shade of yellow similar to the color of an old, faded, and dirty school bus. What is worse, those who had the wonderful idea of painting the SSB started out the project with a bang, but ended with a fizzle. The project, which was to include the entire bridge, only ended up with the southern approach span painted yellow with the rest of the bridge left undone. However, the main spans of the SSB are outfitted with hideous black light fixtures that make the bridge look purple at night. So what we have is a one third painted bridge that is yellow with the rest of the bridge a drab grey color with purple lights.

3. Big Four Bridge (Future pedestrian bridge over Ohio River): This is the next bridge on Louisville's paint project list. Plans call for it to be painted Black, Red and White (for UofL colors), or some other color to match the future new down town bridge. The problem with this is that there is no money as of yet for this project.

Anyway, so as you can see, the possibility of painting the Sherman Minton Bridge is bleak. However, since we are in an alternate universe, the physical laws governing stuff like painting bridges do not apply, therefore maybe we can find some fairies to magically turn the bridge into the desired color. Well, on that note, no. Even if we found those fairies they would only turn the one third of the bridge into a new color and the color would probably be something like hot pink. Then they would run off with tax payer money.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted November 27, 2011, by Jim L. (lueken [at] bellsouth [dot] net)

While the contractor waits for the repair steel, concrete deck patching was done. Now, why wouldn't the states (KY/IN) go ahead and paint the terribly rusting structure while it is closed??? Instead they'll wait till the repairs are done & the road reopened. Then they'll restrict lanes for repainting...!!..??

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted October 29, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

If the inspectors for both states are doing their jobs it should be good!

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted October 29, 2011, by J.P.

Company contracted has promised to have bridge done by march 2nd. For everyday the finish early they get 100,000 bonus cash, for everyday late they are fined 100,000. So my question is will this actually be good for the bridge, or could this lead to a half done job.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted October 12, 2011, by Ross Brown

There was a huge labratory vessel that was supposed to cross this bridge, but when it was closed, they had to bring it through Illinois last Monday. I saw it on a road in Urbana, Illinois. They had to block traffic off so they could move it. These closures must effect plenty of Louisville commuters. I would be frustrated if I had to drive a new way as well.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted October 8, 2011, by J.P.

The bridge will be reopened in the next six months is the timeline I last heard, went down and took some new photos today. Took underneath photos, sadly the crack is on the Kentucky Side and well not fighting to get across the bridge. I did try to get a old cop friend to let me on the bridge today, just to on to the approach to take portal shots and plaque shots and I got a big NO.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 26, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

From the original plans of the bridge, here are drawings of two plaques on the bridge.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 23, 2011, by J.P.

Bridge will be fixed. Replacement not necessary. Time frame unknown

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 20, 2011, by J.P.

One other note, I called into local officials trying to get access to just walk the bridge, and I got a definite no all around. Reasoning Liability.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 20, 2011, by J.P.

diagram of exactly were the crack is.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 13, 2011, by J.P.

they finally released info about the first crack that shut down the bridge. Here is a link to a WHAS 11 Report.


Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 13, 2011, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Its true! A ferry will start up tomorrow to temporarily "replace" the SMB. Here's the link. http://www.whas11.com/video?id=129731603&sec=553357

It costs $1.00 to use the ferry.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 13, 2011, by J.P.

Now people are starting to freak out about the idea of the Clark or Kennedy bridges collapsing because of the additional 80,000 cars the bridges are sharing due to the closure of the minton. Thus the reason for a new bridge. and by the way by this video the Kennedy with the Minton open only carries 130 cars a day.....FAIL!!!!


Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 13, 2011, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Hey here's an awesome idea.......of course it can only happen in my dreams.....take the trusses from the Madison/Milton bridge, since they are up for "adoption" and use them as a new Sherman Minton Bridge!

Seriously here is the current reason they are giving for the shutdown of the bridge: http://www.whas11.com/news/local/Ind-agency-Closed-bridges-s...

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 12, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Beautiful bridge, and a simple repair might fix up. But they might as well blow it up and put a cable stayed bridge or basket handle arch bridge like every other big river crossing in the country soon will be.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 12, 2011, by J.P.

they are talking it could be at least six months before the Sherman Minton is reopened, but we will know more in three weeks on exact time line. So Bridgehunters if you are heading towards louisville Find another way across the river.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 9, 2011, by Joseph Nield

See this link for information on the indefinite closure as ordered by Gov. Daniels on September 9, 2011.


Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted September 9, 2011, by J.P.

The Indiana Governor's office has released this information to the public:

Governor Mitch Daniels tonight ordered the immediate closure of the Sherman-Minton Bridge between Indiana and Kentucky near Louisville.

Indiana and Kentucky transportation officials were informed today of the discovery of a concerning crack in the critical load-carrying element of the bridge on Thursday. Structural engineers from the state and private sectors, as well as from engineering universities, recommended closing the bridge today after examining Thursday's data. Experts have been at the bridge in past weeks performing ongoing maintenance and detailed inspections.

After consultation with Indiana and Kentucky transportation officials and the Federal Highway Administration, Daniels decided to close the bridge immediately.

The closure is indefinite pending further notice. Further examinations of the structure will take place in the coming days.

Traffic is being detoured over I-265 and I-65. The Indiana Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Federal Highway Administration, will strive to keep the public informed as it develops a traffic plan for the coming work week and as more information becomes available.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted August 3, 2011, by sally (vindlv [at] aol [dot] com)

The bridge really needs a paint job. It looks very bad driving from Louisville to Indiana or the reverse.

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted April 23, 2009, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Got stuck on the sherman minton bridge and noticed the plaque and a sign that said, voted worlds most beatiful bridge 1962

Sherman Minton Bridge
Posted December 27, 2006, by Jim Miles (JammingATsprintmail [dot] com)

One of the most beautiful bridges crossing the Ohio River, it was a two-decker when I lived in New Albany. Haven't been back to it since it was rehabilitated.