TIPPECANOE CO. (Aug. 9, 2015) – New measures Sunday signal potentially how long and extensive emergency bridge repairs will take over the Wildcat Creek near Lafayette.
Sunday night INDOT and state police installed temporary traffic signals at two critical points in the posted detour, at U.S. 52 and State Road 28 and State Road 28 at U.S. 231.
Officials hope the traffic signals will ease congestion. No longer will state troopers direct traffic at each location.
“We just want to let everyone know we appreciate their patience,” Debbie Calder said Sunday night, an INDOT spokesperson. “And we know this is a huge inconvenience and hassle for a lot of people.”
The northbound lanes of I-65 are closed north of Lebanon through Lafayette, as officials prepare for another week of delays. The closed stretch of interstate sees on average 24,800 vehicles a day.
“As far as I think everyone’s upset that they are being inconvenienced, we wouldn’t shut the whole interstate down unless it was very serious work,” Calder said.
INDOT closed the bridge for the second time Friday for emergency repairs.
All weekend geotechnical experts, along with officials from the Federal Highway Administration, INDOT, Purdue’s Civil Engineering Department and Walsh Construction worked to create a plan that would prevent the pier, holding up the bridge, from settling even more into the ground.
As of Sunday night, the plan remained incomplete. INDOT officials hoped to have more answers and a timeline within the next 24 to 36 hours.
Gov. Mike Pence was briefed on the progress Sunday.
“We’re working as quickly and diligently as we can to get this plan in place, get the repairs underway and get the interstate reopened,” Calder said. “So it’s very serious.”