GREENFIELD — Two bridges over Interstate 70 in eastern Hancock County will be closed simultaneously starting Monday, requiring traffic to find alternate routes.
The bridge on CR 600E has been closed since July 28; starting Monday, the bridge on CR 400E will also close.
Official detours are Ind. 9, Ind. 234 and U.S. 40, but most local motorists will find other county roads to drive north and south of the interstate, said Nathan Riggs, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation.
“In a perfect world, we would never need any bridge repairs and maintenance, but this is the real world, so when we identify the need for repairs – especially on bridges – we need to take those seriously and get those completed as soon as possible,” he said. “It’s not an ideal situation (to have the closures happen simultaneously) but our engineers have identified these as needed.”
The bridge on CR 600E is getting patched and repaired; it should be open by the end of September.
The bridge on CR 400E is a more extensive project, Riggs said. The deck will be reconstructed, taken apart piece by piece and replaced with a new deck. That work should be done around the end of November.
Riggs said INDOT met with local school and county officials about the projects prior to construction, and no one expressed major concerns about repairing both bridges at the same time.
“Certainly, it does bring an inconvenience to those who use the bridges to cross I-70 every day,” Riggs said. “But we don’t want to take chances with the bridges. If they’re in need of repairs, we want to get that taken care of as soon as possible.”
Randy Harris, superintendent of Eastern Hancock schools, said the closure of the CR 600E bridge poses some traffic concerns for parents and bus drivers, but people can reach the school via CRs 850E or 1050E.
“It’s an inconvenience, but it’s not unmanageable,” Harris said. “I’ve had people say, ‘Why can’t they do that while school is not in session?’… We can live with a little bit of inconvenience for a while.”