State Road 45 bridge timeline extended

HELMSBURG — The Indiana Department of Transportation’s goal for reopening the State Road 45 bridge over Lick Creek is now Thanksgiving.

INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity said Thursday that various delays have extended the timeline.

Weather slowed the moving of water lines by Brown County Water Utility in the creek area, he said.

Then, the Brown County Commissioners asked that the intersection of 45 and Lick Creek Road remain open while the State Road 135 North bridge near Morgantown was closed; that slowed the project some more, Maginity said.

Rain has also added to the timeframe, he said.

“They want to get the road completely open by Thanksgiving. That’s their goal right now,” Maginity said.

The bridge deck was poured on Wednesday, but excavation still needs to be done, rails need to be put up, and approaches built on both sides, Maginity said.

“I think our contractor, as far as workable days, will be within the contract,” he said. “But we don’t know what kind of weather we might have between now and Thanksgiving.”

The bridge over Lick Creek was closed May 23. The original estimate for it to reopen was late August or mid-September.

The existing bridge was demolished and is being replaced with a three-span, 100-foot-long continuous reinforced concrete slab estimated to cost $1.3 million. The work was needed because of the bridge’s age, Maginity said.

The detours to get around that three-tenths-of-a-mile stretch of State Road 45 are 4 to 8 miles long.

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Sara Clifford has been raising a family in Brown County since 2005 and leading the Brown County Democrat since late 2009. In addition to editor, she is the beat reporter for town government and writes columns, features and general news stories.