TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — It’s been a little more than two months since the southbound Sagamore Parkway Bridge over the Wabash River was demolished and News 18 takes a look at how reconstruction is going, so far.
According to project manager Travis Kohl, everything is right on schedule for the new southbound bridge to be complete in 2018.
But all of that construction can be a bit noisy for nearby neighbors. Several of them say the construction is like their morning alarm clock.
“Right first thing in the morning, wakes us up,” nearby resident Mary Kay Berndt said.
But that’s not the worst part for Berndt, she said her commute across the bridge can get a little dangerous.
“I was trying to merge onto traffic at the top of the hill, and there was so much traffic that I couldn’t get on,” Berndt explained. “So I had to stop, and then another car came back behind me, and was going really fast, and nearly crashed into me.”
Berndt would like to see the two lanes continue a little longer.
News 18 asked the Indiana Department of Transportation if it would be willing to adjust the merge.
“We’d absolutely take a look at it,” Kohl said.
But right now, their sights are set on the project itself.
Crews are currently doing a mix of construction and demolition. They are digging to prepare the foundation and driving 24-inch diameter pilings 85 feet into the ground. After that, they will build the beams.
“And we’ll pour the deck, it’s a pretty straightforward procedure,” Kohl said about the project that remains on schedule. “… The weather is definitely helping.”
As badly as Berndt would like to sleep in, she understands better infrastructure is best for the community. It’s not her first time dealing with construction and said she’s excited to see the end result.
“Cumberland project was two years and the Happy Hollow project is two years; so if they can build a bridge in two years, I’ll be happy,” she said.
Kohl says no crashes have been reported due to construction in that area. He said INDOT is open to suggestions and have been known to make adjustments accordingly. But so far, he hasn’t received many official complaints or heard of any problems due to merge setup.
If you would like to report a concern, you can do so on INDOT’s website.