I-465 northbound closed indefinitely after truck hits Rockville Road overpass

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- All lanes of northbound I-465 are closed until further notice at I-70 after a truck hit the overpass Tuesday morning at I-465 northbound and U.S. 36/Rockville Road.

INDOT said a semi truck struck the U.S. 36/Rockville Road bridge, leaving debris from the bridge all over the road. Bridge inspectors were sent to the scene.

The company that owns the truck, Twins Trucking Inc., has a satisfactory rating from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This means the company is in compliance with safety measures.

"Several" cars were damaged by falling debris when the semi hit the bridge. One woman suffered minor injuries, police said, after part of the overpass fell into her car. She was taken to Eskenazi Hospital with a broken arm.

Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Dave Bursten told CBS4 that the truck was carrying a mobile car crusher, which inadvertently raised up during transit and struck the bridge. Bursten likened the damaged pavement on Rockville Road to earthquake damage. The armature on the car crusher raked along the underside of the bridge and punched up the pavement on Rockville Road above, raining concrete down on other vehicles.

“I would not have been surprised at all, after what I saw there, if you told me there were two or three people critically injured and one or two people had been killed. Would not have shocked me at all," Bursten said Tuesday.

He said it was only "by the grace of God" that the injuries weren't more serious.

Sgt. John Perrine with Indiana State Police said traffic on I-465 northbound won't be able to go north of I-70; that's where the interstate is closed. West side traffic going north on I-465 will have to exit on I-70 East or I-70 West. Southbound lanes remained open.

Northbound I-465 is estimated to remain closed for several days between I-70 and 10th Street. Traffic is being detoured at Interstate 70 (Exit 9) on the west side of Indianapolis. All traffic must exit to either eastbound or westbound Interstate 70 at Exit 9.  Access to northbound I-465 from I-70, U.S. 40/West Washington Street and Sam Jones Parkway is also closed.

U.S. 36/Rockville Road was originally closed, but at least one lane has been reopened in each direction to provide local access across the I-465 bridge.

U.S. 36/Rockville Road ramps entering and exiting I-465 southbound west of the bridge remain open. East of the bridge, the eastbound U.S. 36/Rockville Road ramp to I-465 northbound ramps is closed.

According to the Wayne Township Fire Department, the county health department and a hazmat unit were called to the scene in response to a fuel spill. A crash on 465 southbound also slowed traffic in the area.

Traffic that is displaced is expected to increase congestion on other routes, including I-465 on the east side and I-65 and I-70. INDOT is displaying messages on its dynamic message signs to help route interstate traffic around the closure.

Other west-side I-465 interchanges and routes into and out of Indianapolis are also expected to see increased traffic, including I-74, U.S. 136/Crawfordsville Road, 10th Street, U.S. 40/West Washington Street, Sam Jones Expressway, as well as north-south roads connecting to these corridors. INDOT is monitoring traffic flow and make temporary improvements as appropriate, including traffic signal adjustments and additional signage.

Four of about 14 load-bearing girders over I-465 northbound are heavily damaged by the collision and will need to be removed. Northbound I-465 will need to remain closed while the steel-reinforced concrete beams overhead are removed and all debris are cleaned so as not to present a danger to motorists.

Replacing these beams will require longer-term repairs similar to construction of a new bridge deck.

The office of Gov. Eric Holcomb released the following statement about the crash:

The Governor is aware of the bridge strike involving a semi-trailer on I-465 and Rockville Road in Indianapolis and is grateful no lives were lost in the accident. Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Transportation are keeping him apprised of the situation as it develops. Governor Holcomb has directed the Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Transportation to coordinate with local authorities to clear the area and ensure safety and traffic flow as quickly as possible.