South Split project finished ahead of schedule
East Street bridge to be repaired in spring
Last Updated: 54 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - Interstate 65 and Interstate 70 between the north and south split reopened ahead of schedule Wednesday evening, Gov. Mike Pence announced.
Southbound and northbound lanes were open to traffic Thursday, delighting many drivers who had to take detours along I-65 and I-70 through Indianapolis.
"Closing interstate highways is hard on everybody, and Hoosiers are to be commended for their patience and cooperation during the I-65/I-70 South Split Project," Governor Pence said. "On behalf of the people of Indiana, I express my appreciation for the hard work and professionalism of the Indiana Department of Transportation and its contractors for completing these needed public safety improvements ahead of schedule and under budget."
The construction finished more than two weeks ahead of an already aggressive schedule. The project was originally estimated to last 90 days.
By finishing 15 days early, the contractor earned an additional $60,000 a day -- a total of $900,000 -- in bonus money.
The overall job is not complete yet. The project involved lowering the pavement under seven bridges to provide additional clearance for big trucks, but there is also a problem with the East Street bridge over I-70. Engineers determined the pavement there could not be lowered, the bridge would have to be raised.
"If we would have started the bridge project at the same time, we would have definitely not been able to complete the reconstruction of the East Street bridge by the end of the year, which was the goal, was to have it done by the end of the year. So we ended up pushing the bridge reconstruction off until the spring, so that we can have a full construction season to reconstruct the bridge," INDOT spokesman Troy Riggs said.
INDOT completed the project to address public safety concerns after video showed multiple oversize loads striking the South Split bridges with increasing frequency and severity, officials said.
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