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Officials Say Bridge Inspection At Midpoint

Engineers say it will take another week-and-a-half to finish their inspection of the Sherman Minton Bridge.   Then they’ll be able to determine how long it will take to repair the bridge and re-open it to traffic.The bridge has been closed since September 9, when inspectors found a crack in a load-bearing support.  Now its getting a thorough examination to determine if there are other faults, and inspectors are on schedule to finish the job in about ten days. Gary Panariello with the New York engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti says it’s too early to make any assumptions about the scope of the repair job."The testing that we’ve seen so far is kind of what we’ve expected.   But it has not driven us to a conclusion yet or any way to presume where we might be going yet," he told reporters at a briefing today in New Albany. Indiana Department of Transportation leaders say they’re holding discussions with officials from Norfolk Southern Railroad about opening the automobile lane of the K&I Bridge, which has been closed to the public since 1979. The department’s Scott Stewart says at this point, however, it doesn’t appear to be a feasible option.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.