Updated Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 6:10 p.m.
Rockville Road has reopened to at least one lane in each direction to allow local access across the Interstate 465 bridge, following a crash that seriously damaged parts of the structure Tuesday morning.
The bridge was closed around 8:30 a.m. after a truck hauling a mobile car crusher struck the bottom of the structure and severely damaged four load-bearing girders.
All lanes of I-465 northbound remained closed Tuesday evening as crews worked to remove the damaged section of the bridge spanning the highway. The left lane of southbound I-465, and the U.S. 36/Rockville Road eastbound looping ramp to I-465 northbound remain closed as well.
Earlier in the day, the Indiana Department of Transportation indicated the northbound lanes of I-465 could be closed for several days. The agency is urging motorists to avoid the area unless they are accessing nearby homes or businesses.
The U.S. 36/Rockville Road ramps entering and exiting I-465 southbound west of the bridge remain open. INDOT says it will monitor the area and may prohibit left turns from Rockville Road westbound to I-465 southbound if needed to improve traffic flow.
From our earlier post
Photos shared from the scene through social media Tuesday morning showed the damage caused by the collision. Debris from the bridge and parts of the vehicle that hit it were strewn across the highway.
Significant damage to Rockville Road overpass. Crews now working to contain fuel spill. pic.twitter.com/YFfJ0bSKTM— Wayne Twp Fire Dept (@Waynetwpfire) January 10, 2017
According to emergency workers, other motorists were hit by debris during the accident, but injuries were not life threatening.
During an inspection of the bridge, INDOT engineers determined four of about 14 load-bearing girders over I-465 will need to be removed. That process is expected to keep the highway closed for several days, as workers cut the damaged steel-reinforced concrete beams away from the rest of the bridge and remove the debris. INDOT says the repairs will be similar to the construction of a new bridge deck.
Closure and detours
Northbound I-465 is estimated to remain closed for several days between I-70 and 10th Street. Traffic is being detoured at Interstate 70 (Exit 9) on the west side of Indianapolis. All traffic must exit to either eastbound or westbound Interstate 70 at Exit 9. Access to northbound I-465 from I-70, U.S. 40/West Washington Street and Sam Jones Parkway is also closed.
U.S. 36/Rockville Road remains closed leading to the bridge over I-465. Through traffic on Rockville Road is currently being diverted, and motorists and pedestrians should seek their best alternate routes across I-465.
U.S. 36/Rockville Road ramps entering and exiting I-465 southbound west of the bridge remain open. East of the bridge, the eastbound U.S. 36/Rockville Road ramp to I-465 northbound ramps is closed.
During these closures and repairs, traffic will be significantly affected, especially during peak morning and evening traffic periods. Traffic that is displaced is expected to increase congestion on other routes, including I-465 on the east side and I-65 and I-70. INDOT is displaying messages on its dynamic message signs to help route interstate traffic around the closure.
Other west-side I-465 interchanges and routes into and out of Indianapolis are also expected to see increased traffic, including I-74, U.S. 136/Crawfordsville Road, 10th Street, U.S. 40/West Washington Street, Sam Jones Expressway, as well as north-south roads connecting to these corridors. INDOT is monitoring traffic flow and make temporary improvements as appropriate, including traffic signal adjustments and additional signage.