Yesterday, the 4 beams were set for portion of the Sample Road interchange that will go over I-69 southbound. The northbound beams will be set at a later date.
While I’m sure that watching road construction is like watching paint dry for most people, beam setting is really a pretty impressive and precision operation, involving 2 cranes.
Here is a video I made of the operation from my drone. I did my best to condense 2 hours of work into a 9 minute video:
Thank you very much to INDOT and Keramida (engineering firm) for allowing me to film this operation from my drone safely. In particular, thanks to Sandra Flum, Mark Flick, and Bruce Winningham.
Here is a map that shows approximately where the beams were set:
The beams were set for the bridge over the future southbound lane, which is west of the existing southbound lane. The northbound lane will become a frontage road and the current southbound lane will become the future northbound lane in this area.
1. The County is asking the MPO to amend both the FY2016-2019 and FY 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) to add a Monroe County greenway project running along the Illinois Central railroad corridor from the existing Clear Creek Trailhead at Church Lane to an INDOT I-69 mitigation property that could be the future site of a county nature park. The mitigation property is a property where INDOT was required to plant and maintain trees to compensate for the trees it cut down for I-69. I have spoken about this exciting project many times. The purpose of this amendment is to allow the County to spend a $200,000 Recreational Trail Program (RTP) grant it received from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to develop the trail, which will continue the existing Bloomington Rail Trail and Clear Creek Trail south. The County is putting up the value of the railroad corridor, which the County owns, as the match.
Here is a map I made of the project:
Incidentally, although I refer to it as the Illinois Central Corridor Greenway, this trail does not yet have an official name.
They are asking the MPO to formally support the project in principle; however, no funding is being allocated or requested here. I definitely support moving forward on the project (i.e., doing a feasibility analysis to determine usage and costs), and will be supporting the request of the bicycle club to endorse the project.
INDOT is still holding to a completion deadline of the end of 2015 for I-69 Section 4 (going from Crane to south of Bloomington), so I thought I’d check out for myself the status of the 3 big bridges in the southern part of the section, running along Black Ankle Road and Mineral-Kohleen Road. Managed to walk across all 3 bridges and see how close they are to completion.
Black Ankle Creek Bridge is undoubtedly the longest bridge of the segment, almost half a mile, and one of the more impressive freeway bridges I have seen.
Construction from the southwest (i.e., Crane) appears complete.
Further northeast of the Dry Branch Creek Bridge is the Mineral-Kohleen Bridge, which crosses Plummer Creek. The road isn’t paved between Dry Branch Creek and Mineral-Kohleen. However, the road appears to be paved to the northeast of the Mineral-Kohleen bridge.
The HT published an article this morning (“INDOT confident Section 4 of I-69 will open by the end of 2015“), which probably came as a surprise to a lot of people, including myself, who have seen Section 4 (the section running from Crane up to south of Bloomington) looking pretty much like a dirt road even very recently. So I decided to stop by this morning and visit what is probably the most technically challenging part of I-69 Section 4 in Monroe County — the Harmony Road bridge — and was surprised to see how far along things were.
Although the bridge isn’t finished, the prestressed concrete structural elements are all in place, and I had no problem walking across it. The contractors are in the process of excavating what appears to be about another 30 feet of earth beneath it. And the main line of the highway to the west is already paved.
This has been probably the most disruptive road closure in the whole project so far; I’m sure the residents will be very glad to have Harmony Road finished and open again!
Next week I’ll try to make it back down to Black Ankle Creek in Greene County, which is probably the longest bridge in the whole highway.