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.