UPDATE: I-465 northbound lanes reopen on west side after ‘major progress’ on repairs

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – I-465 northbound reopened Wednesday afternoon after a crash damaged the Rockville Road bridge over I-465.

The Rockville Road bridge also has two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane open to traffic, according to INDOT spokesperson Nathan Riggs.

Contractors from Reith Riley Construction and Crackers Demolition worked throughout the day and night Tuesday, and into Wednesday morning to remove the damaged portion of the bridge.

“Basically half of the bridge on the northbound side is now gone, and that was all accomplished within a day,” Riggs said.  “They came in very very quickly saw-cut the bridge deck, removed those four girders in the overnight hours, working all through the night.”

After moving the damaged section of bridge, crews worked quickly to clear concrete and steel debris from the roadway below, allowing I-465 to re-open at 12:30 Wednesday afternoon.

“Very very quickly, unprecedented the amount of work that took place overnight,” Riggs

According to Indiana State Police, a car-crushing machine on the back of a semi experienced a mechanical failure that caused the machine to raise and slam into the bridge. The impact pushed up the pavement on Rockville Road and dropped concrete onto cars below.

One driver was rushed to Eskenazi Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after debris crashed through the windshield of her car.

INDOT crews had to tear out the damaged part of the bridge and replace four load-bearing support beams. State police said repair work was proceeding smoothly for the most part, although two drivers went around the barricades overnight, and one car crashed into the back of a repair truck. The drivers were arrested on DUI charges, police said.

“I just checked in with our partners at INDOT, and they are very confident that this is going well so far. Once they get the bridge demolished, and engineers determine it’s safe to get traffic moving through there, then we’re gonna do that,” said Sgt. John Perrine.

Riggs said the current traffic pattern on Rockville Road will likely stay in place until work begins to rebuild the damaged portion of the bridge.

“We’ve got recent plans for this bridge, it was worked on as part of the Accelerate 465 project, so that’s a good starting point,” Riggs said.  “We don’t have to start from scratch.”

INDOT hopes to have design work completed and bids for the rebuilding project issued in the coming weeks.  Construction on the new bridge section is expected to start in early Spring.  That construction work will likely include restrictions on I-465 as builders work over the interstate.

Riggs said INDOT is also documenting everything to keep a running tally of the total cost of the project.  He said INDOT will likely seek reimbursement from the company that owns the truck that caused the damage.