2:12pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Commonwealth

Halfway Point for Bridge Repairs

One month after steel deliveries began, contractors have passed a halfway point with repairs to the I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge that connects Louisville and New Albany, Ind. More than half of the 2.4 million pounds of reinforcing steel plates needed have been delivered and are being installed. Hall Contracting of Kentucky has billed work already completed worth 62 percent of the contract’s $13.9 million value, according to a press release from the Indiana Department of Transportation. Under an agreement between the two states, Indiana is responsible for maintaining the Sherman Minton Bridge.

Bridge repairs continue at or ahead of schedule to reopen the bridge to traffic in March. Thus far, Hall Contracting’s 135-day repair schedule has not been impacted by abnormal inclement weather or other unanticipated issues. Incentives of up to $100,000 per day are available if the bridge is opened earlier than March.

Installation of reinforcing steel along the outside faces of load-carrying beams or tie girders is 80 percent complete. The lateral bracings that tie the two beam systems together are being prepped as more complex work begins to install steel plates on the inside faces of the beams, beneath the lower deck of the bridge.

Subcontractors have completed sandblasting and priming the load-carrying tie girders. Virtually all of the metal bolts, nuts and washers needed to attach the steel plates have also been delivered. Inspectors are monitoring both the fabrication and installation of the steel to ensure safety and quality repairs.

The Interstate 64 bridge over the Ohio River between New Albany and Louisville was closed Sept. 9 after a significant crack was discovered in a load-carrying element of the bridge.