Bridge demolition project begins


The demolition of an 80-year-old bridge spanning Sand Creek at the Jackson County line with Bartholomew County began last week.

Demolition is expected to take about two weeks.

But the $8.4 million project to replace the bridge, allowing U.S. 31 to reopen to traffic, won’t be complete until late this year.

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The 354-foot bridge being replaced was built in 1936 to carry U.S. 31 over Sand Creek, which empties into the East Fork White River just north of Seymour. The two-span, thru-truss bridge was reconstructed in 1995.

The general contractor, Milestone Contractors LLP, will replace the bridge with a 382-foot, three-span concrete bridge.

The project also includes the replacement of two nearby culverts and construction of a roundabout at U.S. 31 and County Road 400S, also known as Southern Crossing, in Bartholomew County.

Demolition of the bridge began the morning of May 9 with ABC Cutting Contractors cutting the concrete deck into pieces. The pieces were stacked in an area just south of the bridge in Jackson County until they could be hauled away.

Harry Maginity, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said once the concrete decking was removed, construction crews began cutting up the steel parts of the 175-foot south span so it could be hauled away. The north span also is 175 feet long.

“They will cut up the steel on the north end this week and haul it away,” Maginity said.

Milestone’s contract calls for the work to be completed within 240 days.

He said the old bridge was functionally obsolete because vehicles were limited in both width and height because of trusses.

“It had been hit a number of times,” Maginity said.

The new three-span hybrid bulb-T beam bridge will be nearly 32 feet wide. It will have two 12-foot driving lanes and 3-foot, 8-inch shoulders.

The bridge will span Sand Creek, which begins in Decatur County and flows through Jennings and Jackson counties before emptying into the East Fork White River north of Seymour.

An 18-foot culvert north of Sand Creek will be replaced in June, and a 32-foot culvert on the south side of the creek in Jackson County will be replaced in late June or early July, Maginity said.

During the construction period, U.S. 31 also will be repaired and resurfaced from a pavement break south of Base Road near Columbus to a pavement break south of U.S. 50 in Seymour.

The project will leave U.S. 31 closed through much of the remainder of the year.

INDOT’s official detour re-routes traffic around the construction using U.S. 50 and Interstate 65. Those driving from the north on U.S. 31 can reach County Road 900S. Motorists from the south on U.S. 31 can access County Road 1150N.

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