The Big Bridges of I-69 (Section 4)

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.

From Black Ankle Creek Road
From Black Ankle Creek Road
Black Ankle Creek Bridge
Black Ankle Creek Bridge
Black Ankle Creek Bridge
Black Ankle Creek Bridge
Bridge decking is complete, and approaches are paved but not finished
Bridge decking is complete, and approaches are paved but not finished
My car in the distance, from the western bridge approach
My car in the distance, from the western bridge approach
Bridge nearly complete
Bridge nearly complete

Construction from the southwest (i.e., Crane) appears complete.

The bridge can be found here on the map: Black Ankle Creek Bridge

Northeast of the Black Ankle Creek Bridge, the Dry Branch Creek Bridge goes over a beautiful stretch of Dry Branch Creek.

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It doesn’t appear that the road is paved yet between the Black Ankle Creek and the Dry Branch Creek Bridge.

The bridge can be found here on the map: Dry Branch Creek Bridge

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.

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The bridge can be found here on the map: Mineral-Kohleen Bridge

Progress on Harmony Road Bridge on I-69

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.

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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.

I-69 Section 5 Synopsis Provided at Open House

logoLast night, I-69 Development Partners, the contractor hired by the Indiana Finance Authority to design, build, operate, finance, and maintain Section 5 of I-69 held a (contractually-required) open house to share with the public some more specifics about the I-69 Section 5 development plan. Construction is expected to begin on Section 5 literally any day now, and will be completed by the end of 2016.

I’ll comment on some specifics of the plan in future posts — but wanted to get out to the public who wasn’t able to make it to the open house a copy of a synopsis of the route and plan that was handed out at the open house. I find this an extremely helpful and informative summary of what is planned for each each access point (i.e., interchange, closure, overpass, bridge, sound wall, etc.), and was surprised that the HT didn’t include it in the article published today on the open house (unless I missed something): Tapp Road changes among updates at I-69 open house (HT subscription required).

The handout can be found here: I69 Section 5 Synopsis

Note: this is a scan of a paper copy I received; I’ll try to get an electronic copy to substitute.

Winning and Losing Teams for I-69 Section 5 Released

logoYou have probably already heard in the media about the selection of a winning proposal to design, build, operate, maintain, and finance Section 5 of I-69. However, you probably haven’t seen all of the winning and losing teams yet!

This past Wednesday, the Indiana Finance Authority preliminarily announced the winning bid to design, build, operate, maintain, and finance the construction of Section 5 of I-69, 21 miles of highway from Bloomington to Martinsville. I-69 Development Partners, led by prime contractor Isolux Infrastructure Netherlands B.V. from Spain, was selected as the preferred proposal.

The winning proposal would design and build the highway for $325M. The state will pay $21.8M per year over a period of 35 years (minus any penalties for non-performance), which will cover not only the design and construction, but also all maintenance and operation, including snow and ice removal, repair, resurfacing etc. for the entire 35-year term of the contract. In the form of public-private partnership used for this contract, the contractor provides the financing for the project. However, unlike most arrangements in which the contractor provides the financing for an infrastructure project, this project will not be a toll-road.

The full press release from the Indiana Finance Authority can be found here:

More interesting than the press-release, however, is the full list of proposing teams, including all of their subcontractors.  In all, there were 4 teams proposing, all with very generic names: Connect Indiana Development Partners, Plenary Roads Indiana, WM 1-69 Partners, LLC, and I-69 Development Partners. Each team consists of an “equity member” (essentially a prime contractor) and over a dozen partners and subcontractors, including construction, design, environmental, operations and maintenance, etc.

The actual contract has not yet been released to the public; however, according to the Indiana Finance Authority, “portions of the preferred proposal” will be posted on its website next week. You can be sure that MoCoGov will be watching!