Indiana Officials Say Full Replacement Not Needed for Sherman Minton Bridge
The Indiana Department of Transportation announced Friday that the Sherman Minton Bridge will not need to be replaced.For the past two weeks, state inspectors from Indiana and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet have been examining the bridge, which Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels ordered shut down on September 9 after a crack was found in its load-bearing support.Indiana Transportation Commissioner Michael B. Cline says the agency has learned enough in its ongoing testing and assessment of the 50-year-old span, which connects Louisville to southern Indiana, to rule out that a full replacement of the bridge will be needed. "We won’t know with 100 percent certainty as to what the repair solution will be until our testing is complete, but nothing we have seen indicates that replacing the bridge is necessary," he says. Replacing the bridge would have been the more costly and time consuming option and could have taken up to two years in some estimates. Indiana transportation officials expect to have estimates for the cost and time to repair the bridge once engineers from both states complete their analysis over the next 10 days. Structural engineers from the state and private sectors have been conducting ongoing maintenance and examinations of the bridge since early this year."Keeping with Governor Daniels’ directive to move quickly yet safely, INDOT will meet with potential contractors next week so we can be ready to start repairs and reopen the bridge at the first possible moment," says Cline. "We don’t know the exact fix yet, but we want to discuss options with contractors and get their input."