As the Allisonville Road bridge project enters its most intrusive stage for drivers, construction crews report they're running ahead of schedule.
Thursday marked day 65 of the 110 days allotted for the project to replace the bridge over Interstate 465, RTV6's Norman Cox reported.
Besides the bridge being down, both of the on-ramps to the highway are currently closed, with only two off-ramps remaining open.
But officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation said they are optimistic that the construction company, which gets a $20,000-a-day bonus for finishing early, is motivated, especially with the weather on its side.
"Unfortunately, lack of rain is terrible for agriculture and other industries, but for highway construction, our contractor's not complaining," said Nathan Riggs, INDOT spokesman. "With such a tight, tight construction schedule, the lack of rain is certainly helping them get this bridge done as quickly as possible."
Area businesses are still divided about whether INDOT chose the correct option by shutting down the bridge completely for 110 days instead of a partial closing over two years.
Jennifer Brown, the manager of the K and G Fashion Superstore said her business is down, but is OK. She's glad INDOT adopted the quick approach and not the long, drawn-out construction schedule.
"I think that would kill the business overall, not just for us but for the other stores, businesses that are in this area," Brown said.
But John Ambriz, the manager of the Harris Tire and Auto Service store on Allisonville, said business is terrible. He wishes INDOT had chosen the longer option with the partial closing.
"This construction's getting worse and worse, and now that they're closing the ramp, I mean this past week and a half is, my business has died pretty much completely," Ambriz said.
Two other nearby projects are going well. A fly-over ramp for the US 31-Keystone project was recently finished a week ahead of schedule, and the Interstate-69 Exit 5 work is right on schedule.
Two other INDOT projects are either on schedule or close to it. They include the Interstate-70 widening on the east side and work on I-465 on the west side.
INDOT said all of the projects will be finished on time or early, unless the metro area suddenly gets lots of rain.
Copyright Copyright 2012 by
All rights reserved.
This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.