INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Don't hit the bridges. It's a message the Indiana Department of Transported started telling a bit more overtly on Thursday, adding signs near the south split to warn semis that the bridge clearance is 13 feet, 6 inches.
INDOT has shown shocking video of trucks crashing into the Virginia Avenue bridge, but now they’ve added signs. The warnings are to get the message out as INDOT prepares to start a construction project raising the bridge clearance.
“The video has definitely gotten the attention of the public. We've gotten lots of hits on our website. We’ve gotten lots of views, so it's generated that conversation, but unfortunately these strikes are still happening,” explained Nathan Riggs, INDOT spokesman.
Early Sunday morning, another semi crashed into the bridge someone got hurt. Riggs said until the project is finished, more needed to be done.
“Anything 13 foot, 6 inches or over should not be using that route, should be using I-465,” said Riggs.
INDOT posted signs and used digital billboards to send a warning. By law, 13 feet, 6 inches is how tall a trailer can be to go under the Virginia Avenue bridge.
Riggs said the purpose of the signs is two-fold — to raise awareness about upcoming construction and to urge trucking companies to follow the rules.
The massive construction project will raise the bridge clearance by at least 9 inches and will cost $60,000 per day. Riggs said the project timelines cannot be moved up. As such, INDOT officials said they hope the imagery and signs act as a deterrent for now.
“The crash early Sunday morning is evidence of that so as an additional step to raising awareness we have begun utilizing those message signs leading into the city,” says Riggs.
Milestone was chosen as the contractor on the project, which will cost $12.4 million. The company promised to have the work complete in 59 days, but a start date hadn't been set as of Thursday. Because of federal requirements, the project has to be complete by Nov. 21.
Thousands of people in Indianapolis were without power early Thursday morning.
Hoosiers saw unbearably cold temperatures Thursday morning.
Mintonye Elementary School may be ready to open in August, but Southwestern Middle School won't be ready. That's the preliminary assessment Superintendent Scott Hanback told the Tippecanoe School Corporation school board Wednesday evening.