The new Martin Luther King Drive Bridge will reopen Friday, 17 months after the previous span was closed just six years after it was built.
INDOT LaPorte District Deputy Director Bob Alderman told the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission last week that final construction and cleanup was on track to see the bridge opened by Friday.
He commended Gary Public Works crews for working with the Indiana Department of Transportation to clean up the portions of Martin Luther King Drive leading up to the bridge, which have gone unused for almost a year and a half.
The new bridge is being built by Dunnet Bay Construction Co., of Glendale Heights, Ill., at a cost of $3.18 million. The bridge that was demolished had carried 4,100 vehicles per day on average.
The previous Martin Luther King Drive Bridge over the Borman Expressway was closed in May 2010 after inspectors found extensive cracking on the bridge's deck and in its cast-concrete beams. INDOT engineers said the cracked concrete led them to doubt the bridge's load-carrying capacity.
The state sued Superior Construction of Gary, which built the bridge, seeking to recoup the expense of building a new bridge.
Two weeks ago, Superior Construction President Theodore Cuson said his company disputes any claim it did anything wrong. He said he could not comment about the ongoing litigation or any possible settlement.