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Bridge could reopen soon

Monday, December 27, 2010

Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation, Crawfordsville District recently said the bridge at State Road 42 crossing over the Eel River could reopen before Feb. 1, 2011. [Order this photo]
The New Year will bring good news for county residents living near the State Road 42 Bridge, which has been closed since Oct. 13.

According to information provided by the Crawfordsville District of the Indiana Department of Transportation, the bridge could be reopened before Feb. 1.

"The bidding process in Indianapolis was opened on Nov. 24," INDOT West Central Indiana Public Information Officer Debbie Calder recently told The Brazil Times.

The suspension bridge was closed for inspection after a garbage truck accidentally struck the bridge Oct. 12. Apparently, the hydraulic bucket on the garbage truck didn't lock properly and rose up to hit the bridge while the driver was traveling eastbound on the highway. Several overhead trusses were damaged in the accident.

INDOT Crawfordsville District Bridge Inspectors, INDOT Rehabilitation Section and members of a private consulting firm recommended closing the bridge until repairs could be made. Citing the damage was too extensive for INDOT maintenance crews to repair, an emergency contract was designed and scheduled for bidding.

George R. Harvey and Son, Inc., was subsequently awarded the $34,012 contract Dec. 7, for the truss reconstruction and repair the bridge, which is located just west of Poland and is approximately seven miles east of State Road 59.

According to Calder, the pre-construction meeting took place Dec. 15, at the INDOT Terre Haute sub-district office. The contractor informed officials it would take approximately two-three weeks to get the steel fabricated and delivered before repairs can begin on the actual bridge. Once the steel arrives, the contractor's work should take approximately another two weeks to complete.

"The contract specifies a completion date of Jan. 31, 2011," Calder said.

The detour around the bridge remains in effect until repairs are completed. It follows SR 42 westbound to SR 59 northbound, to I-70 eastbound to SR 243 southbound and back to SR 42, the detour in reverse for traffic traveling in the opposite direction.

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It's about time. I would usually go through this area at least twice a week. I just wonder how fast the driver was going for the bucket to pop up and hit the top of the bridge. This is a narrower area that you should use cation in any way.

-- Posted by benna30 on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 7:11 AM

LOL, benna30, at least it was something that was movable on the truck, although it probably was avoidable. I have to wonder why the driver didn't notice as I always checked the mirrors before going through a bridge or other tight place when I drove commercially.

At least it wasn't a case of someone trying to drive a 13' 6' trailer through an opening clearly marked as less than that height. I didn't bother to keep count of the times I've seen that happen.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 8:03 PM

They need to open this ASAP. It has cost my family so much more money for trash pick up and gas now, (they live in Poland.) It also has caused a major safety issue. The roads that have to be travelled to avoid the bridge are in horrible condition in the winter. They are also curved and have some large hills. I travelled them for Christmas and it was a disaster.

I think there should be claims to the insurance company for their company, by the citizens that area affected.

-- Posted by Unsolicitedtidbits on Wed, Dec 29, 2010, at 12:40 PM

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