East End Bridge construction in full swing in Indiana - WDRB 41 Louisville News

East End Bridge construction in full swing in Indiana

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Courtesy: Ohio River Bridges Project Courtesy: Ohio River Bridges Project
Courtesy: Ohio River Bridges Project Courtesy: Ohio River Bridges Project
The site of the future East End Bridge The site of the future East End Bridge

UTICA, Ind. (WDRB) -- Work on the Indiana side of the new East End Bridge has kicked into full gear, as drivers experience delays on I-265, and crews prepare to blast rock to make way for a new stretch of freeway.

Blasting that will make way for a four mile stretch of I-265 in Utica was postponed today. Officials said they needed more time to test the rock and soil, but that it isn't a sign of slowed progress.

While work on the Kentucky side of the new East End Bridge has been in full swing for some time, to the naked eye, Indiana has some catching up to do. But spokesperson for the Ohio River Bridges Project Dan Hartlage says that's because the Kentucky side has more roads and structures they have to work around.

"The front end preparation and work just is not as involved as what has been on the Kentucky side as far as getting that side geared up," said Hartlage. Plus, he said, most of the Indiana work is in undeveloped areas. "Surveying, relocating of utilities, excavation, and land clearing has been going on since early summer."

Much of the work is about 1,000 feet back from the river, over a rock ridge, and above Upper River Road in Utica. It's there where construction crews are clearing foliage and cutting down trees to make way for the new stretch of freeway.

The four miles of freeway will connect the Kentucky/Indiana crossing and an expanded 265/state road 62 interchange.

"Eventually that interchange will be completely rebuilt," said Hartlage. That interchange is where all the visible construction is taking place.

"There are a growing number of traffic changes, shoulder closures, lane changes and those kinds of things going on," said Hartlage.

The delays in the area will continue sporadically for the next three years, but officials say the result will be worth the headache.

"It provides motorists on both sides of the river another option, and depending on where you're coming from or where your going a better option," said Hartlage.

The project is set to be complete and open to traffic by late 2016.

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