The Indiana Department of Transportation and some media outlets drove the motoring masses into frenzied panic last February, when the agency said it might close Allisonville Road over Interstate 465 for seven months.
There were visions of nightmarish traffic jams—even business closures.
After months of deliberating whether to close the bridge for rebuilding or a partial closure of up to two years, INDOT has chosen to close the bridge for up to five months.
To shorten the closure time even more, INDOT said it will pay the winning contractor on the project financial incentives for each day it reopens the bridge earlier than anticipated in its bid.
INDOT recently advertised the project for bid. It could cost nearly $20 million.
As the lowest bridge over I-465, Allisonville has been struck by trucks on many occasions. As part of its larger improvement of I-465, INDOT’s winning contractor will began work to replace the bridge next spring with one that’s more than five feet taller.
In addition, the bridge will be reconfigured into what’s known as a single-point urban interchange, with ramps converging into a consolidated signal bank at the top of the bridge—a la Emerson Avenue at the Beech Grove exit.
INDOT said the maximum five-month closure will not affect holiday shopping in the Castleton area, as many businesses had feared. And except for left-turning traffic at Allisonville Road, I-465 ramps are to remain open during the bridge rebuilding.
Alternatives to Allisonville Road over I-465 will include Keystone Avenue and I-69/Binford Boulevard.