Indiana says bridge won't have to be replaced, as US Transportation Secretary visits

09/23/2011 05:12 PM

Ahead of a visit by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Indiana officials announced Friday that the closed Sherman Minton Bridge to Louisville needs to be repaired but not replaced.

Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Michael B. Cline said in a statement that the preliminary review of a crack in a key steel beam on the bridge allowed officials to “rule out that a full replacement of the bridge will be needed.”

“We won’t know with 100 percent certainty as to what the repair solution will be until our testing is complete, but nothing we have seen indicates that replacing the bridge is necessary,” Cline said in the statement.

Officials say they hope to continue the review and learn more about the costs of the repair by early October.

That news came out just as U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Highway Administrator Victor Hernandez touched down in Louisville so that he could tour the bridge with other officials, including Kentucky Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth — a Democrat from Louisville.

LaHood said little about the specifics of the Sherman Minton. Instead, he said it is a symbol of why Congress should pass President Barack Obama’s $450 billion jobs proposal that includes $50 billion for infrastructure projects. He said it could potentially be used to fix the Sherman Minton.

- Video produced by Kenny Colston

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