Indiana & Kentucky Announce Plans to Repair Closed Interstate 64 Span

AASHTO Journal, 7 October 2011

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced last Friday that the two states have agreed on a solution to repair the Sherman Minton Bridge, which carries Interstate 64 over the Ohio River and was shut down Sept. 9 after inspectors found a serious crack in a steel tie.The bridge will remain closed during repairs, which are expected to take approximately six months. Preliminary cost estimates are $20 million. Contractor bids, which will be opened in mid-October, will include incentives for early completion.”We’ll do all we can to get the bridge opened as quickly as possible but there will be no shortcuts on safety,” Daniels said in a statement. “After considering multiple options, the experts agree the repair strategy that has been selected is the best option.”

Beshear said the two states have worked together to develop an aggressive plan to repair and reopen the bridge as soon as it is safe to do so.

“I am grateful that [Federal Highway] Administrator Victor Mendez has personally pledged to expedite the necessary federal reviews of this project, and I am hopeful that with incentives and innovative management from the construction bidders, that we will be able to reopen even sooner,” Beshear said in a statement.

To repair the bridge, new steel plating will be installed along both sides of the bridge tie that runs horizontally along the entire 1,600-foot structure. This will increase the bridge’s safety and reliability, according to the Indiana and Kentucky transportation departments. The repairs will give the bridge at least 20 more years of useful life.

During the additional bridge testing, other weld defects were found at numerous locations that confirmed closing the bridge was the appropriate decision for public safety, the two DOTs stated.

The two states will share bridge repair costs equally. An incentive of $100,000 per day will be offered for each day the winning contractor finishes work before the target completion date, with a cap of $5 million.

More information is available at

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