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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Bridge on Locust Road is closed to traffic

HELTONVILLE - AUGUST 11, 2023 - Bridge on Locust Road has closed the road to through traffic after the bridge has been considered deficient.

The middle beam on the bridge is in disrepair.

The timeline for repairs is unknown, there are a total of four bridges in Lawrence County.

The bridge had a five-ton weight limit on it for quite some time and fire engines could not cross the bridge.

The bridge on Saddle Barn Road in the City of Bedford has a three-ton limit and is need of repairs.

Previous story: JULY 19, 2023 - Bridge inspections are underway in Lawrence County with crews from Butler, Fairman, and Seufert hired to do the inspections.

Photo: Bridge inspections from Butler, Fairman, and Seufert are underway

Lawrence County is responsible for all bridges in the county.

The bridge over the CSX railroad is set to close for repairs, Frontier Cable will be moving their lines sometime next week.

Photo: The bridge over CSX railroad on Mill Creek Road will take one year to complete

CLR then will give the public one week of notice of the bridge closure which will last up into next year for the project to be completed.

The cost of the Mill Creek Road bridge over CSX railroad will cost the county $319,536.10. The Indiana Department of Transportation providing 80 percent of the funding. CLR was awarded $2.6 million for the contract on the Mill Creek Road Bridge project.

Photo: Bridge over Cement Plant Road near the Bedford City Limits have been closed for years as this is a historic bridge. The bridge is not expected to have any work done or approvals finished until sometime next year

Both the Mill Creek and Cement Plant Road Project have taken a long time to work through. In December 2020 Lawrence County had to pay CSX railroad $15,000 to conduct a study for the project.

Lawrence County received approval from CSX for the project. The design work and realignment of the roadway after the county sought easements for the project.

Bridge inspections by BFS Engineering is now underway who has done design work for many of the bridge projects in Lawrence County.

Lawrence County has 15 out of its 164 bridges in poor condition or 9 percent out of the total bridges in the county.

Photo: The bridge located on Saddle barn Road in the City of Bedford has a weight limit of 3 tons and is close to closure with this rating

Photo: Damage to bridges can be seen and many issues not seen by the visible eye, this is the reason for bridge inspections

Photo: Bridge over Saddle Barn Road in Bedford City Limits is close to closure as the bridge is in need of immediate attention

There are 19,367 bridges in the State of Indiana with 1,040 or 5.4 percent of the bridges classified as deficient.

This means one or more of the key elements is poor or worse condition. A total of 2,028 bridges are deficient.

Photo: Damage to bridges can sometimes be easily seen

The State of Indiana has identified needed repairs on 2,682 bridges at a cost of $1.4 Billion dollars. The State of Indiana has a surplus of $6.1 Billion.

The State of Indiana uses Community Crossing Grants to fund paving and street repair and Lawrence County uses Federal grants to help pay for some of the county's bridge projects.

However, the cost to repair Lawrence County bridges will cost several millions of dollars and may need tax increases to cover the expenses required to repair the bridges.

Photo: Damage to bridges sometimes cannot be easily seen by the public

Indiana at one time was going to use the sale of the Indiana Toll Road for its road and bridge infrastructure however those savings were spent with the construction of Interstate-69. The construction of Interstate-69 took all of the revenues from the sale to construct the Evansville to Bloomington leg of the interstate.

In 2015, Former Governor Mitch Daniels sold the Indiana Toll Road for $5.7 Billion the purchase of the toll road was to help with Indiana's Infrastructure needs.

Photo: Although school buses can cross this bridge in northern Lawrence County, many farmers must travel several extra miles because their equipment exceed the posted weight limit. Fire trucks in some locations throughout Lawrence County cannot cross many bridges in Lawrence County. Indian Creek Township Fire newest tanker is 4,000 gallons and cannot travel across some of the county's bridges.

Photo: Butler, Fairman and Seufert are in Lawrence County conducting bridge inspections

In, 2006 an international consortium paid Indiana $3.8 Billion to operate the toll road for 75 years. However, the recession hit and that company went bankrupt.

The Indiana Finance Authority now owns the Indiana Toll Road.

The price tag of the final leg of Interstate-69 was projected at $1.6 billion alone from Martinsville to Indiana.

In April, 2023 Indiana cities and towns, and counties received $133.4 million in state matching funds for local road projects through Indiana Governor's Next Level program.

The Community Crossings Matching Grant program was launched in 2016, the State of Indiana has awarded over $1 Billion in state funds to support local road and bridge projects.

For breaking news, news and information go to or like/follow the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.

ADVERTISEMENT Tonya Hudson has 18 years of real estate experience

American Rental 1416 James Avenue Bedford, Indiana

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