Summer should bring bridge’s opening
Bicyclists and pedestrians will have a safer trip across 146th Street starting this summer, which is when officials anticipate the Monon Bridge will be completed. Matt Knight, bridge program engineer for Hamilton County, said the project should be finished by the end of May even though current work at the site is on hold because of the weather.Knight said the intermediate lift of asphalt is in place and the snow melting system is installed. Handrails will be installed within the next few weeks, and the surface lift of asphalt will be installed in the spring.
“Right now the bridge is essentially built,” Knight said. “The subcontractor is starting to work on (the handrails) and needs a couple weeks of workable days. Once that’s up, we should be able to open the bridge.”
Besides the railing and second layer of asphalt, Knight said the project needs light touch-ups and landscaping work which will be completed in the spring, depending on the weather. Construction on the project began in August 2012.
The Monon Bridge project is a partnership between Westfield, Hamilton County, Carmel/Clay Board of Parks and Recreation and Clay Township. The Hamilton County Highway Dept. has been the lead agency in designing and obtaining federal funding for the five-span, pre-engineered steel truss bridge to connect the Monon Greenway from Carmel to Westfield over and across 146th Street. The bridge structure spans 428 feet with a 12-foot-wide path to provide safe crossing for users and will include heating elements.
Total construction costs were anticipated at $2.9 million. INDOT has allocated $2.5 million of federal funds to pay 80 percent of the project’s cost. Westfield Parks Director Melody Jones said the remaining $585,600 would be divided among Westfield ($156,160), Clay Township ($195,200) and Hamilton County ($234,240).
“There have been a couple of change orders to increase costs – nothing drastic,” Knight said.
According to the agreement, the county will be responsible for all structural maintenance of the bridge. The Clay Township trustee and/or the park board will be responsible for paying the electric charges necessary to heat the bridge, maintaining the heating system and periodic removal of snow, trash and other debris from the bridge.