Extensive bridge rehabilitation work will temporarily reduce traffic lanes on the western end of the Indiana Toll Road this spring, the road’s management company has announced.
ITR Concession Company LLC manages the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road, designated as Interstate 90 through northern Indiana.
The work is scheduled to begin Monday, March 6, on six bridges around the Westpoint Toll Plaza at the Illinois/Indiana state line, and is expected to continue until May 20.
During the work there, traffic through the toll plaza will be reduced to four lanes in each direction. Just east of there, eastbound and westbound traffic will be reduced to one lane and then two lanes.
The westbound Exit 0 will remain open, but the ramp entrance to the eastbound Toll Road from 108th Street will be closed. Traffic to the eastbound entrance there will be detoured down U.S. 41 to the Hammond (Exit 5) entrance.
Local traffic on 108th Street will be closed, and detour signs will be posted.
Eastbound and westbound Toll Road traffic will be reduced to two lanes from Mile Marker 1.1 to MM 2.2.
Starting March 20, rehabilitation work is to begin on 12 bridges at the Toll Road’s Exit 10 (Cline Avenue) and on guardrail improvements between there and Exit 5 (Hammond).
At least one lane of traffic will remain open in all directions on Exit 10 through the construction, the company said, but there will be ramp closures.
Most of the construction work will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, the company said.
More details on lane closures and detours is available at the Northwest Indiana Bridge Rehabilitation project page at http://www.indianatollroad.org/travel-advisory/
“Our goal is to minimize the impact to travelers by keeping traffic moving safely while proactively communicating with our customers and community stakeholders,” ITRCC Chief Operating Officer Rick Fedder said in the company’s news release.
Built in 1956, the Indiana Toll Road was the first limited-access interstate highway across Northwest Indiana and is still the only one that crosses all of northern Indiana, from Illinois to Ohio.
All of the bridges being worked on at Exit 0 and the two Exit 10 mainline bridges were built in the 1950s, the company said. The remaining Exit 10 bridges were built in the 1980s when the Cline Avenue interchange was added.
Improvements to the bridges include substructure patching, beam painting, bearing replacements, fatigue retrofitting, and deck replacements.
Illinois Constructors is the contractor for the work on Exit 0 and east of there, and Rieth Riley is the contractor for the Exit 10 work. ITRCC did not disclose the cost.
The Toll Road was managed by the Indiana Department of Transportation until 2006, when ITRCC took over the Toll Road management under a long-term lease from the state.
Tim Zorn is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.