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Sherman Minton Bridge to reopen in about 6 months, cost of repair $20 million

by Maureen Hagrman

Posted on September 30, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 30 at 5:29 PM

(WHAS) -- Gov. Steve Beshear, Gov. Mitch Daniels and Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez held a news conference Friday morning where they announced a timeline for the reopening of the Sherman Minton Bridge

Indiana's and Kentucky's governors and the head of the Federal Highway Administration announced that the bridge is expected to be reopened in approximately 6 months, with an approximate price tag of $20 million.

Repairs to the Sherman Minton Bridge will take about six months, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) said on Friday, three weeks after he ordered the bridge closed for safety reasons.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said the repairs would take a "maximum of six months."

Sources familiar with the inspection process told WHAS11 on Thursday that the repairs could take as little as three months, a timeline discouraged by officials on Friday.

Yet, Daniels said that incentives on other construction projects have successfully completed even bigger projects far ahead of what he termed as "aggressive" schedules.

Daniels said the solution agreed upon by Indiana and Kentucky will both repair the defects in the critical "tie" or load bearing element of the bridge and adding "an entirely new tie that runs the length of the bridge."

The redundant tie will extend the lifespan of the bridge by decades, Daniels said.

The estimated cost of the repairs is $20 million, the governors said.

Up to 25 percent of the repair cost will be footed by the federal government, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said.