INDIANAPOLIS — The northbound lanes of Madison Avenue in Indianapolis have reopened near the Raymond Street bridge after chunks of concrete started falling from the overpass bridge.
Indianapolis Department of Public Works crews said they have reopened Raymond Street and Madison Avenue after the bridge was determined to be "structurally sound."
This comes have WRTV saw chunks of concrete falling from the bridge on Friday morning.
According to Deputy Director of Engineering for DPW Ericka Miller, staff were able to observe what caused the issue and determined it structurally sound until repairs can begin.
"Our staff went out this morning," Miller said. "Our bridge engineer for DPW went out to inspect the bridge along with one of our consultants who does our bridge inspection program. So we had two structural engineers evaluate it this morning."
"What appears to have happened is that the steel in the bridge is aging and as the steel ages and corrodes it expands," Miller said. "So as the steel expands, little portions of the concrete sometimes crumble off. Those portions of the concrete are not the ones structurally supporting the traffic on the bridge so structurally the bridge was still sound. our engineers went up in a bucket truck and evaluated the beams and found it was safe to open up to traffic.
According to a 2020 bridge inspection report acquired by WRTV, the bridge was in need of structure rehabilitation due to deterioration.
In the report, it was requested that the concrete deck overlay be replaced, spalled areas beneath the slab be patched and the terminal joints be replaced.
In a statement, Indy DPW said the bridge was and still is scheduled for rehabilitation starting next week. Part of the project includes repairing concrete.
This project began to be designed in Fall 2021.
The work was previously scheduled and is still expected to happen next week.
Miller explained that today was an unfortunate occurrence that DPW tries to avoid.
"It's unfortunate that it happened," Miller said. "We would like to have prepared the concrete before it crumbled. Certainly it is a safety risk to have concrete fall onto a travel lane. So our goal is to repair the concrete before it gets to that point."
Miller wants to ensure travelers that the bridge is safe for use.
"I want the public to know that we would not open the travel lanes if it wasn't safe and so we had two structural engineers out there right away this morning and we are confident the bridge is safe to travel on and under and the public will be seeing a newly rehabilitated bridge in the coming months," Miller said.
To view current and future bridge improvement projects in Indianapolis, visit https://www.indy.gov/activity/major-transportation-projects.
No injuries were reported.