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State Agency Unsure When New Terre Haute Bypass Will Open

construction

A portion of McDaniel Road in Vigo County will remain closed indefinitely after an overpass retaining wall collapsed earlier this week. It's the latest trouble with the Indiana 641 bypass.

The Terre Haute bypass has been 13 years in the making and the Indiana Department of Transportation was supposed to open the full bypass by the end of the month. Now the southern-most stretch is closed because of a retaining wall collapse at the only open exit.

Vigo County Engineer Jerry Netherlain says the bridge itself is OK, but he's worried the road approaching the bridge could be weakened if the issue isn't addressed. The county and state will have to work together on repairs.

"The structure was built as part of the Federal-Aid process, so the contractor was actually their contract was with INDOT, but it is on a local road, it is a local project," he says.

Netherlain says they haven't decided how to repair the structure and the bridge will remain closed indefinitely.

State highway department spokeswoman Debbie Calder says the issue isn’t affecting completion of the second half of the six-mile route linking Interstate 70 and U.S. 41. But she doesn't know when the 6-mile route linking Interstate 70 and U.S. 41 around the city's southeast side will open. Construction began in 2003 and has been beset by delays.

"Once INDOT gets the entirety of the bypass open, then the entire bypass can be opened back up with just some particular restrictions on this exit to McDaniel Road," Netherlain says.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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