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Inspectors Find More Structual Defects On Historic Bridge

Construction on the historic bridge will continue after more structural steel damage was found.

bridge

Photo: Karin Beil (Flickr)

Withers says road diversion has harmed local businesses.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is finishing repairs to a historic bridge on State Road 46.

Construction on a bridge over the Eel River in Clay County which has snarled traffic for months is nearly complete.  But officials say it’s not the last work the aging structure will need.

Indiana Department of Transportation Spokesperson Debbie Calder says the bridge on State Road 46 is a historic landmark, so repairs must be done even more carefully.

We’re going to get the bridge repaired and then hopefully have a project here in the next couple of years to get it totally rehabilitated,” Calder says.

But Calder says the age of the bridge has meant it’s absorbed a lot of decay.

“Inspectors were here inspecting for that project down the road and found there were some more corrosion in the structural steel than they had previously noted so determining for the safety of the motoring public that some repairs would need to be made to make sure this bridge would be safe,” Calder says.

Clay County Commissioner Jack Withers says he understands the strict construction standards, but says some businesses have been harmed by road closures and traffic diversions.

“There is a small business east of here that says there business is down about 50 percent,” Withers says.  “but I’m sure if it had an impact on him, I’m sure it had an impact on the locals here in the small town of Bowling Green.”

Calder says construction on the bridge is expected to be done at the end of October.

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