Bridge closes indefinitely, state agency to seek legal action

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)–The Indiana Department of Transportation says the Pigeon Creek Bridge on Highway 41 is closed indefinitely and they plan to take legal action against the parties involved in causing the damage.

Last month a semi-truck carrying an over sided load tried to drive under the bridge but hit the steel beams in the process. Since then INDOT has been assessing how much damage was done.

INDOT says this driver hit the bridge hard and there are a lot of questions about what they’re going to do to fix the damage and how long it’s going to take is also up in the air.

An 80-year-old bridge broken and maybe beyond repair.

“There are no options off the table at this point,” INDOT spokesperson Jason Tiller says.

Now the Indiana Department of Transportation is working to determine what their next move should be.

“Do we repair this bridge is damage significant enough that we can repair it versus replace it or do we need to replace it so there are a lot of things on the table,” Tiller explains.

They say when the driver hit the bridge– they caused complete and partial breaks to the steel beams of the bridge. Twisting some to the point of breaking. Because of the amount of damage INDOT says the bridge can’t handle the weight of normal everyday traffic.

Since the bridge is closed they’ve rebuilt a pathway drivers have seen before.

“The crossover will be placed throughout the life of the closure The good news is we’ve been able to maintain two lanes of traffic,” Tiller continues.

That cross over was put in place while renovations were being done on the bridge. We asked out safe it was and Evansville police say last time there weren’t any major issues. But change is hard no matter when it is.

“Anytime you have something and people are getting used to driving the same path for a long time any disruption in that you’re going to have some issues,” Nick Winsett with Evansville Police explains.

As far as when we can see people working INDOT says they aren’t sure.

“This time we don’t have a schedule of any kind of maintenance or repair or any type of replacement for anything like that,” Tiller says.

INDOT says they are bringing in a consultant to help the, decide what the best next steps for the bridge are.

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(This story was originally published on Feb. 4, 2020)

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