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Road closures, preparations and more for upcoming Thunder Over Louisville

There are a few things to know this year following a pandemic-affected 2020 and 2021.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 2:51 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Thunder Over Louisville this year will be a little different than in years past. Because there will be hundreds of thousands of people in one place at the same time, security and procedures will be a little different.

“All the resources are there,” said Kentucky Derby Festival President Matt Gibson. “Everything that everyone will need is there, so we’re excited for people to come out.”

Thunder Over Louisville last packed the waterfront and lit up the sky in front of a large crowd in 2019.

There are a few things to know this year following a pandemic-affected 2020 and 2021:

  • Those driving to the event are advised to park away from the water and walk.
  • Bikes and scooters can be used to get to the event. In fact, it is encouraged, although they are not permitted within the Waterfront Park perimeter.
  • Grills, tents, and glass bottles should be left at home. There are plenty of vendors inside the venue, and they’ll be open after the fireworks.

Jody Meiman, the executive director of Louisville Metro Emergency Services, encourages that parents who are bringing a child snap a picture of them before the event, as it may be helpful if they get lost in the crowd. On both sides of the river, there will be first aid and a lost children station, as well as other safety tents.

“We also have the capability to send out a what’s called an IPAWS alert, or Integrated Public Alert Warning System on both sides of the river,” Meiman said. “So if there’s an immediate danger or needed information, we can get that off. It’s similar to a tornado warning or an Amber Alert.”

(Story continues below video)

While fun for thousands, it's hard work for organizers.

Thunder Day schedule:

  • Airshow - 3 p.m.
  • Thunder Over Louisville - 9:30 p.m.

Louisville Metro has announced the following road closures ahead of Thunder Over Louisville on Saturday:

Clark Memorial Bridge (Second Street Bridge)

  • Thursday, April 21, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to Midnight
  • Friday, April 22, 2022 - All day
  • Saturday, April 23, 2022 - All day
  • Sunday, April 24, 2022 - Midnight to 2 p.m.

10:30 a.m. (Friday, April 22, 2022) – 2 p.m. (Sunday, April 24, 2022)

  • River Road from Bingham Way to Sixth Street
  • Bingham Way from Joe’s Crab Shack/Witherspoon Street to River Road

11 a.m. (Friday, April 22, 2022) – 9 a.m. (Sunday, April 24, 2022)

  • Witherspoon Street from Preston Street to Brook Street
  • Floyd Street at Washington Street closed (only open to residents)
  • River Road from Preston Street to Witherspoon Street

Midnight (Friday April 22, 2022) – 9 a.m. (Sunday, April 24, 2022)

  • Ramp from westbound Interstate 64 to Third Street (no turn on River Road)
  • Ramp from Second Street to eastbound Interstate 64

8 a.m. (Saturday, April 23, 2022) – 1 a.m. (Sunday, April 24, 2022)

  • Second Street from Main Street to River Road (local access to local garages only)

9 a.m. (Saturday, April 23, 2022) – 1 a.m. (Sunday, April 24, 2022) (Local traffic and passing traffic will be allowed provided there are no pedestrian safety issues.)

  • River Road from Witherspoon Street to Preston Street
  • Frankfort Avenue from River Road to Story Avenue (local and tow lot traffic only)
  • Witherspoon Street from Brook Street to Second Street
  • Witherspoon Street from Preston Street to Adams Street
  • Washington Street from First Street to Second Street
  • Preston Street from Main Street to Witherspoon Street
  • Floyd Street from Main Street to Witherspoon Street
  • Brook Street from Main Street to Witherspoon Street
  • First Street from Main Street to Witherspoon Street
  • Second Street from Main Street to River Road
  • Third Street from Main Street to River Road (access will be allowed to parking garages)

6 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. (Saturday, April 23, 2022)

  • Ramp from Muhammad Ali Boulevard to Interstate 65 northbound
  • Ramp from Jackson Street to Interstate 65 northbound

9 p.m. (Saturday, April 23, 2022) – 1 a.m. (Sunday, April 24, 2022)

  • Market Street from Sixth Street to 10th Street will be reversed from eastbound traffic to westbound traffic

9 p.m. – end of night (Saturday, April 23, 2022)

  • Third Street from Main Street to Broadway will be one way southbound

8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. (Saturday, April 23, 2022)

  • Interstate 65 northbound from Interstate 264 (Watterson Expressway) to Interstate 64
  • Interstate 65 southbound from Interstate 265 (Indiana) to Interstate 64
  • Interstate 64 westbound from Interstate 264 (Watterson Expressway) to 22nd Street
  • Interstate 64 eastbound from Interstate 264 (Shawnee Expressway) to Interstate 65
  • Interstate 71 southbound from Interstate 264 (Watterson Expressway) to Interstate 65

Click here for viewing locations and parties. For Thunder Day information, click here.

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