Crack forces closure of key bridge over the Ohio River

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 09, 2011 8:33 PM
Crack forces closure of key bridge over the Ohio River

By Susan Guyett

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - An Interstate highway bridge over the Ohio River that links Indiana to Kentucky was abruptly shut on Friday after a crack was discovered in an important load-bearing part of the span.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels ordered the double-decked bridge's immediate closure after consulting with transportation officials in Indiana and Kentucky as well as the Federal Highway Administration.

Engineers from the public and private sectors recommended the closure of the span, known as the Sherman Minton Bridge, after examining the flaw, which was first discovered on Thursday by workers performing routine maintenance and inspection.

The 49-year-old bridge serves I-64 and US 150, a key east-west route running from Virginia to Missouri. Authorities said it would remain closed indefinitely while additional inspections were performed.

Traffic was being detoured over I-265 and I-65.

The closure comes a day after President Barack Obama discussed the need to fix the country's infrastructure as part of his jobs creation proposal.

(Editing by James B. Kelleher and Cynthia Johnston)