South Whitley Historic Bridge
INDOT is planning the rehabilitation of the historic S.R. 5 Bridge over the Eel River in Whitley County during the 2016 construction season.
The three-span, reinforced, filled spandrel arch bridge was built in 1935 and reconstructed in 1990. The bridge is part of the South Whitley Historic District and eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.
The bridge was labeled as “select” meaning it is an excellent example of the bridge architecture and most suitable for preservation. The Federal Highway Administration will not consider demolition as an alternative for “select” bridges, so INDOT’s preferred alternative is to rehabilitate the bridge for continued vehicular use.
This alternative will allow INDOT to repair, protect and preserve the integrity and historic qualities of the structure, in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
The condition of the bridge has been deteriorating, with cracks in the pavement, spalling at the gutters and curbs, and the concrete brackets have cracks and leeching.
The 2016 project will remove the existing pavement, railing, sidewalk, brackets and top of the spandrel walls. Portions of the spandrel walls and brackets will be reconstructed before adding a new slab in the pavement area, replicating the concrete bridge railings along the side and resetting the existing ornamental street lights on top of the bridge rail. A new guardrail also will be installed.
The bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic during construction. A detour route will use S.R. 114, S.R. 13, and S.R. 14. Pedestrian traffic will be maintained by constructing one-half of the bridge at a time. The project will be bid in late 2015 with the goal of completing construction by late summer 2016. The maximum closure to traffic will be 140 days.