The bridge was closed Sept. 9 after a significant crack was discovered in a load-carrying element of the bridge. Inspection, testing and analysis recommended reinforcing the bridge with steel plates, which are anticipated to extend the service life of the bridge at least 20 years.
Although the bridge is reopened, construction is not complete. Subcontractors need to finish painting the new steel plates and remove working platforms attached to the bridge.
During off-peak hours, one lane of eastbound I-64 will be temporarily closed on the lower deck of the bridge entering Louisville from New Albany. All lanes will be open each weekday morning for peak traffic between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Temperature-sensitive painting operations will occur during 30 work days as weather permits this winter and spring.
Incentives, favorable weather conditions and efficient work by contractors reduced repairs from an estimated six months to less than four months. It is anticipated that Hall Contracting of Louisville, Ken., will receive $1.3 million in incentives for reopening the bridge to traffic early.
"Thanks to the workers, contractors, and the people of INDOT, the Sherman Minton Bridge is back in operation, 12 days ahead of the target date," says Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. "We've never been happier to pay a contractor incentive dollars for an ahead-of-schedule performance. And thanks also to all the citizens who endured so much inconvenience in order to make 100% sure that no one was ever put at risk."