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I-65 Bridge Closure Still Causing Big Delays

August 13, 2015

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The Wildcat Creek bridge on I-65 is closed while INDOT crews examine it. Some of its supporting piers sunk about 8 inches into the creek bed below.  Photo: Indiana Department of Transportation
The Wildcat Creek bridge on I-65 is closed while INDOT crews examine it. Some of its supporting piers sunk about 8 inches into the creek bed below.  Photo: Indiana Department of Transportation

A closure of the Wildcat Creek bridge on northbound Interstate 65 through Lafayette, Ind., is continuing to cause delays more than a week after initially being shut down, according to a report in the Indy Star.

The bridge was initially shut down while the Indiana Department of Transportation examined it for safety, reopening it for a short time only to close it again after it was found that bridge piers had sunk about 8 inches into the ground.

It was originally scheduled to be closed for 48 hours, but INDOT is still investigating the problem and the bridge will remain closed for an indefinite amount of time.

Detours have been created, guiding northbound traffic along alternate routes. The southbound bridge remains open, but it's too narrow to accommodate both directions of travel, INDOT officials told the Star. That's why the northbound detours are necessary. 

Interstate 65 is a major trucking corridor and companies routing drivers around the problem could stand to see significant and difficult delays for a while. In some cases, using suggested routes, drivers may need to get off Interstate 65 for 40 miles before returning to the highway.

In the past few years, bridge and road closures, collapses and renovations have become a frequent occurance throughout the country.

An aging and underfunded highway and bridge infrastructure has prompted attempts at long- and short-term funding legislation in Washington, while some states are exploring other options like toll roads to pick up the slack.

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