WEST LAFAYETTE -- Indiana Department of Transportation officials believe they have a fix for the closed Interstate 65 bridge in Tippecanoe County. But, it’ll still be several more weeks until that’s in place.
INDOT now expects the bridge to be closed until mid-September.
The preliminary fix is to drive steel casings through the existing pier footings and deep into the soil.
But INDOT Deputy Commissioner Bob Alderman says that’s similar to the same process that caused the bridge to be unsafe – workers sinking a beam into an artesian well during last week’s construction work.
Alderman says water started pumping from the well into the ground around the bridge.
“As it eroded, that sand layer, it created a large void under the loam soil level," Alderman said. "That large void destabilized the existing supports for the bridge.”
INDOT is working on the solution with the Federal Highway Administration and contractor Walsh Construction. Walsh won an $82 million contract in January to rehabilitate I-65 from State Road 38 to State Road 25 in Lafayette.