Crews testing possible solution to fix I-65 bridge

(WLFI Photo)

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – It’s a view not often seen. On the banks of the Wildcat Creek, crews are set up underneath the closed Interstate 65 northbound bridge. Standing underneath or above the bridge, if you look closely, you can see the damage.

“You can see the dip,” INDOT spokeswoman Debbie Calder said.

Since the beginning of the month, the bridge has been closed. Crews are currently testing what may fix the bridge.

After geotechnical experts tested the soil around the bridge earlier this month, something called a micropile was suggested.

“They’re installing steel casings,” Calder said. “They have a special machine that drills far deep into the ground. They’re going to put in grout and high-strength, small-diameter micropiles through the footers of the existing pier.”

Nicholson Construction Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan specializes in micropiles and has installed them across the country. Nicholson crews are now in Tippecanoe County.

Calder said the hope is the micropiles will fix the bridge.

“The crews will test how the micropiles distribute the load to the adjacent soil,” Calder said. “So that testing is continuing to make sure that we have the right plan in place. This is going to be what works to get the bridge repaired and reopened as quickly and safely as possible.”

Calder said the bridge should still be reopen by mid-September even though a hard date has not been set.

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