Ad campaign urges Indiana motorists to ‘Beat the Squeeze’

(WISH Photo, file)

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Tourism officials in southern Indiana are urging visitors to “Beat the Squeeze” as part of a campaign designed to show that the area is open for business during the Ohio River bridges project.

The bridge work that has shut down one lane of Interstate 65 in both directions since last September has been nicknamed the “Big Squeeze.” The closures occurring over a 1.5-mile stretch of the interstate are expected to continue until late 2016, about the time the new bridge linking Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville is expected to open.

Tourism officials say southern Indiana businesses have reported a drop in revenue, especially among customers from Louisville.

Jim Epperson, executive director of the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention & Tourism Bureau, blamed the drop-off on an “urban myth” that construction has made it difficult to get in and out of the area.

“The truth is — except for rush hour — travel times are virtually the same as pre-construction days, especially at lunchtime, evenings and weekends,” he said.

Epperson told the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, ( ) that the city of Jeffersonville, the town of Clarksville and the tourism bureau each put up $30,000 for the ad campaign, whose announcement included a plastic container with two lemons and a lemon squeezer inside, along with a package of sugar.

Marketing efforts will include billboards and a website, http://www.beatthesqueeze.org.

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