Bolstering bridges in
When many of today’s bridges were built more than half a century ago, the construction companies used different designs and materials. Some were built to last, but many couldn’t account for changes in weather patterns, vehicle design, and traffic volume. Despite the remarkable staying power of such infrastructure, at a certain point regular maintenance of historic infrastructure requires special investment and revitalization.
After a massive roadway-wide assessment of the safety and long-term stability of 300+ bridges and other structures that cross the Toll Road, ITRCC identified two high-priority projects to begin and complete rapidly with Indiana-based construction partners.
- First, ITRCC commenced construction on six bridges in the area of the Westpoint Toll Plaza at the Illinois and Indiana state line.
- Then, ITRCC began renovations on an additional 12 bridges in the vicinity of exit 10 in Gary, Indiana.
Both of these undertakings are creating new opportunities to strengthen the immediate and long-term safety of critical infrastructure with a firm commitment to sustainability.
To keep motorists moving and avoid the risk of travel delays along the Toll Road, we implemented a moratorium on construction between Memorial Day and Labor Day — since summer is a period of higher-than-average travel volume. We’re also placing great emphasis on efficiency and aiming for an accelerated time schedule.
Along the same 10-mile corridor, we previously repaved the roadway. These current projects focus on long-term “bridge health” — taking care of normal maintenance and rehabilitation, including concrete improvements, various repairs, and fresh painting.
Toll Road crews and construction partners are also incorporating additional safety enhancements for driving during nighttime and in poor-visibility conditions. The inclusion of new reflectors on guardrails, bridge walls, and bridge railings will help guide the way.
Finally, we’re taking advantage of this roadwork to integrate more sustainable designs and replacements to portions of our infrastructure. New drainage systems and piping and some modifications to the slopes of bridges will create faster and safer drainage.
Other improvements lessen the risk of spillover into local ecosystems and lower the risks of flash flooding, which took on even greater meaning as exceptionally heavy rainfall affected Indiana and elsewhere across the U.S. during the summer of 2023. And by procuring supplies locally, working with local contractors, keeping local traffic moving, and protecting local environments, we’re able to benefit our local communities.
Not only does better infrastructure help keep motorists safer and roadways faster. The decisions we make now are critical for informing the future.