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Detours remain in place as Indianapolis road closure extended by seven months

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A full closure of a bridge on the northeast side of Indianapolis has been extended by seven months, leaving drivers continuing to detour.

Last April, construction workers closed down 38th Street between Arlington Ave and Shadeland Ave in order to repair a bridge that crosses the CSX railroad tracks.

One driver reached out to the CBS4 Problem Solvers team because she thought the road was supposed to reopen in November, but it remained closed. She said that she had been unable to get an answer about the status of the project.

Ben Easley, Chief Communications Officer for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, confirmed that the original November 2019 projected completion date had to be moved to June 2020.

"In this case, we didn’t want to reopen parts of it, especially when it’s not complete. ... We wanted to make sure the entirety of the project was fully put together and fully realized before allowing traffic back on that roadway," Easley said.

Easley said the project experienced an initial 45-day delay because flaggers must be present on the railroad tracks while construction is underway and CSX did not provide the flaggers as planned. Once work began, Easley said engineers ran into unexpected issues.

"As they were taking the pieces out they realized that some of those columns were more deteriorated than expected," Easley said.

That means more concrete will need to be poured and cured in order to repair the bridge and Easley said the weather needs to stay warm in order to do that.

"We found out that we needed to winterize it, do some work over the colder months, but then really wait until we have a period of warmer temperatures to finish the project," Easley said.

CBS4 Problem Solvers did see some work being performed at the site on Wednesday, but there is still a lot to do. Until then, drivers will continue having to detour around the stretch of 38th Street until spring or summer.

"We do appreciate people’s patience. We’re trying ... hard to get it open as soon as possible and we really want to give a product that is fully complete and fully safe for the people who will be driving over this bridge in the future," Easley said.

If you have a problem you'd like the CBS4 Problem Solvers to look into, contact us at 317-677-1544 or ProblemSolvers@cbs4indy.com.

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