UPDATE: SR 156 Bridge Hole Patched, Now Open
By Mike Perleberg
Update posted Friday, January 31:
The Indiana Department of Transportation reopened the State Road 156 bridge at North Landing in southeast Ohio County shortly after noon Friday.
The structure has been closed to traffic since January 13 when pavement gave way atop the bridge deck.
INDOT maintenance crews bolted two 8’x12′ steel plates to the bridge deck after fashioning a traction device and attaching it to the metal’s surface to provide a greater measure of skid resistance, the department said.
Friday morning, crews removed barricades and detour signs.
INDOT officials advise motorists to drive with caution—and at slower speeds—at the SR 156 bridge that crosses Grants Creek. Drivers will encounter a rough road surface until permanent measures can be taken.
Original story posted Wednesday, January 29:
(Ohio County, Ind.) – Ohio County and Switzerland County commuters rejoice. The State Road 156 Grants Creek Bridge could reopen this week.
The bridge has been shut down since a large hole developed completely through one lane of the bridge deck on January 13. A person looking through the hole could see clear through the remaining rebar and the water below. Motorists have been using detours several miles out of the way to get around the closure.
The Indiana Department of Transportation at the Seymour District office announced Tuesday that the SR 156 bridge will reopen as soon as Friday, weather permitting. Engineers have devised a temporary fix: cover the hole by securing steel plates over the hole.
INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity says crews are currently in the process of drilling holes in two 8’x12’, one-inch thick steel plated will be bolted to the existing bridge deck. A special treatment is being applied to driving surfaces on the plates to bolster traction.
“Thursday – weather permitting – the two plates will be taken to the bridge site and installed. Crews hope to have the Grants Creek structure open to the motoring public before the end of the day Friday,” said Maginity.
INDOT advises that motorists should drive slowly across the bridge, as the plates will make for a rougher driving surface. A “rough pavement” sign will be placed near the bridge.
Maginity said the fix is only temporary until the scheduled rebuilding of the bridge’s superstructure in 2015.
The reopening would have occurred last week, but snow and ice prevented INDOT crews from doing the necessary prep work, Maginity said.