State highway officials have released video footage captured over the weekend of a large truck with an oversize load striking the Virginia Avenue Bridge over southbound I-65 and I-70 in Downtown Indianapolis.
Officials hope the footage will help the public understand state officials' desire "to lower pavement and increase clearances beneath seven bridges at the South Split in the interest of public safety and mobility," said Nathan Riggs, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Such an understanding, officials hope, would increase public support for a project planned to start in August that will close I-65 and I-70 in Downtown Indianapolis for up to 90 days - a project that will require both taxpayer funds and motorists' patience.
State officials have recorded more than 400 collisions at South Split bridges since 1999, Riggs said, and the strikes are becoming more frequent.
"The most severe incident occurred on Feb. 22, 2013, when an oversize vehicle struck the Virginia Avenue Bridge" states an INDOT release, "requiring a weekend-long closure of northbound I-65 and eastbound I-70 for emergency repairs to the bridge."
The bridges at Virginia, Fletcher, Calvary and Morris have vertical clearances ranging from 13'11" to 14'6," according to an INDOT web site. The project will increase the vertical clearance of each structure to at least 14'9," according to state officials.
Posted detour signs will help motorists get around the construction areas this summer and fall, Riggs said.