On Tuesday, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced plans to entirely replace the U.S. 41 Pigeon Creek Bridge in Evansville, Indiana.
INDOT's decision to replace the bridge comes after an extensive review of the damage caused to the bridge in January 2020 by a semi, which left the bridge unable to carry traffic.
Since then, INDOT personnel has been working toward finding a solution for the bridge. During their investigation, INDOT found replacing the bridge was a more financially responsible decision than repairing it.
Once the decision was made to replace, personnel began working on a design for a new bridge. Currently, INDOT has completed multiple steps toward replacement of the bridge including:
- A detailed inspection of the bridge to determine extent of damage, which revealed a significant amount of damage rendering the structure unable to carry traffic in its current state.
- A Damage Assessment Report including a summary of the condition of the superstructure components of the bridge.
- Historic Bridge Process (part of Section 106 ) to evaluate the structure’s historic status. This includes a Historic Bridge Alternative Analysis to provide next steps for the current structure under either a replacement or repair scenario.
- Active solicitation of all stakeholders and consulting parties. These parties include but are not limited to local government representatives, county and state historians, DNR, and historic landmarks commissions. A total of 21 different parties were approached as a part of this process.
- A Life Cycle Cost Analysis to compare alternative costs of repair vs. replacement.
- Final Design plans for the new structure.
According to INDOT, the initial cost of the project is going to cost about $10 million, which includes the cost of raising the replacement bridge to match the grade of the structure in the northbound lanes and the associated pavement work. That estimate also includes a pavement repair on U.S. 41 from Diamond Avenue to Lynch Road.
INDOT says the project is scheduled for a spring 2021 letting, pending a review of the project by the Federal Highway Administration and final signatures on all historic bridge documents. If no further revision is required, the project is expected to begin construction in summer 2021.