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I-65 closure allows progress on 6-lane expansion project

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – With Interstate 65 North completely shut down in the Greater Lafayette area, construction crews are making progress on the six lane expansion project in Tippecanoe County.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokeswoman Debbie Calder said crews are trying to take advantage of not having cars zooming by.

“Within any project there are subcontractors that work and do numerous things. So a lot of work is still continuing. They actually have in their plan to start with the concrete paving of the medians next week so work is continuing on this project,” said Calder.

INDOT maintenance crews are trying to make the most out of the situation too. Calder said with the interstate being shutdown, INDOT has been able to fix potholes, guardrails and other projects that would usually cause lane closures.

But just because crews are getting a head start, it may not affect the targeted completion date for the project in 2017.

“I think it’s kind of early to decide what it’s done for the timeline of the entire project,” Calder explained.

Although it’s unclear if the original construction will be sped up because of the closure, she did say it allows more room for crews to work.

“The contractor is taking advantage of the northbound lane somewhat,” said Calder. “They are able to bring in materials, equipment and manpower as well.”

Calder says even though some crews are capitalizing on the lack of vehicles, others continue working to fix the problems on the bridge so cars can return to the interstate.

As for the end goal? That goes without saying.

“To get the bridge open,” Calder laughed. “That’s our goal – to get that bridge open as quickly and safely as possible.”

There is still no timeline for when I-65 will reopen. However, the information gathered from soil samples around the bridge’s foundation are expected back on Friday.

Calder said once INDOT has the results from those samples, they can determine how to proceed with fixing the northbound bridge and then produce a time frame.

Soil sample results are expected to be released from INDOT Friday.