Mayor Greenberg, state officials provide update on Clark Memorial Bridge accident and closure

March 01, 2024

Four-vehicle accident causes temporary closure of bridge; Mayor commends the Louisville Division of Fire for their heroic rescue of tractor-trailer driver 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Today at MetroSafe Emergency Services, Mayor Craig Greenberg, Kentucky State Highway Engineer James Ballinger and local first responders provided an update on the temporary closure of Clark Memorial Bridge following Friday’s four-vehicle accident, which resulted in a tractor-trailer dangling from the bridge. The Mayor also commended Louisville Division of Fire and other first responders for their swift and heroic efforts.

The accident was first reported at 12:03 p.m. and first responders were on the scene within three minutes. By 12:45 p.m., the rescue of the tractor-trailer driver was complete and the driver safe. The Louisville Division of Fire conducted a high-angle rescue, rappelling down Engine 5 firefighter Bryce Carden to lift the driver to safety.

“This morning I started my day with Louisville Fire’s Engine 5, Tower 2 and little did I know these would be the very heroes to conduct an amazing, life-saving rescue just a few hours later,” said Mayor Greenberg. “Honor, courage, duty, dedication – all four of these traits were exhibited today by firefighter Bryce Carden, the entire team at the Louisville Division of Fire and so many other Louisville first responders. Seeing their efforts makes me even more proud to be a citizen of Louisville.” 

Louisville Division of Fire Chief Brian O’Neill was also in attendance and stated, “The training of these incredible firefighters came through today and they were able to conduct this mission swiftly, allowing this driver to get back on the ground safely. Thank you to all of our partners who made today possible.” 

Following an update on the rescue efforts, the Mayor and Kentucky State Highway Engineer James Ballinger provided an update on the Clark Memorial Bridge which is currently closed in both directions. 

The timeline for reopening the bridge is based on damage assessments by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), which can begin once the tractor-trailer involved in the accident is removed and the scene cleared. Travelers are encouraged to avoid the area. 

“At this time, we do not have a timeline for the bridge to reopen and we are encouraging everyone to please avoid this area and let our team members from the state do their job safely,” said the Mayor. “We are grateful to our partners at KYTC, Sec. Jim Gray and Governor Andy Beshear for their quick response and support.” 

“Safety is our primary focus as we work to reopen this highly used bridge to traffic as soon as possible,” said State Highway Engineer James Ballinger. “Our engineers are ready and eager to start physical inspections, which will inform next steps like repairs needed and the reopening timeline.”

Alternative routes are currently being prepared by the Department of Highway’s Direct 5 staff to manage traffic until the bridge is reopened. 

KYTC shared that a complete inspection may linger until tomorrow, Saturday, March 2, due to weather conditions and dwindling daylight hours. KYTC and Mayor Greenberg shared more information will be released in real time as available. 

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