- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Downtown Louisville commuters have grumbled for months about mind-boggling gridlock, closed streets, re-routed ramps and blocked lanes.

As the state builds two new bridges and reconfigures the downtown interstate system with the Ohio River Bridges project, traffic has slowed to an agonizing crawl.

But despite the backups, a nationwide analysis by The Associated Press suggests Louisville drivers don’t have it so bad.

Commuters spend less time on their way to work than most people across much of the country. In Louisville, the typical travel time to work is about 23 minutes, compared with the national commute time of 25.8 minutes.

Of the 195 metro areas analyzed, Louisville falls squarely in the middle.

In Lexington, the state’s second-largest city, the typical commute takes 20.9 minutes.

The data shows that most Kentucky commuters are driving alone.

In Louisville, 84 percent of commuters make solo trips to work. Another 8 percent carpool, and just a fraction of workers use public transit. Solo drivers make up 79 percent of workers making the commute in Lexington. Another 10 percent carpool, and a fraction use public transit.

Still, the downtown Louisville tangle of orange cones and infuriated drivers is not likely to subside anytime soon. Construction on the bridges project is expected to linger into next year.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe promises better days ahead for motorists easing through the traditional “choke point” where three interstates converged.

Even with the “short-term pain” of slowdowns, he said, the reconstruction “ultimately will bring far smoother traffic flow through the area.”

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