VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. – Following an extensive review of the damage to the U.S. 41 Pigeon Creek Bridge in Evansville, the Indiana Department of Transportation has decided to replace the structure.
Since January, INDOT personnel have been working toward a solution for the truss bridge on U.S. 41 following a bridge strike that left the structure unable to carry traffic. During the investigation, it became clear that data supported replacement as a more fiscally responsible option over repairing the existing structure. Once the decision was made to replace, personnel began working on a design for a new bridge. Currently, INDOT has completed multiple steps toward replacement of the bridge including:
- A detailed inspection of the bridge to determine extent of damage, which revealed a significant amount of damage rendering the structure unable to carry traffic in its current state.
- A Damage Assessment Report including a summary of the condition of the superstructure components of the bridge.
- Historic Bridge Process (part of Section 106 ) to evaluate the structure’s historic status. This includes a Historic Bridge Alternative Analysis to provide next steps for the current structure under either a replacement or repair scenario.
- Active solicitation of all stakeholders and consulting parties. These parties include but are not limited to local government representatives, county and state historians, DNR, and historic landmarks commissions. A total of 21 different parties were approached as a part of this process.
- A Life Cycle Cost Analysis to compare alternative costs of repair vs. replacement.
- Final Design plans for the new structure.
The decision to replace the bridge is, in part, due to reduced costs for maintenance over the bridge’s lifespan and less risk of a future bridge strike as a modern replacement would not have a height restriction. The initial cost of the project is expected to be about $10 million, which includes the cost of raising the replacement bridge to match the grade of the structure in the northbound lanes and the associated pavement work. The estimate also includes a pavement repair on U.S. 41 from Diamond Avenue to Lynch Road.
The project is scheduled for a spring 2021 letting, pending a review of the project by the Federal Highway Administration and final signatures on all historic bridge documents. If no further revision is required, this project is expected to begin construction in summer 2021.