(STATEHOUSE) October 17, 2007 - State Representative Michael Murphy (R-Indianapolis) announced today that he is working with Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Commissioner Karl Browning and local officials to accelerate the timetable for completion of the Shelbyville Road bridge.
"We need to speed up this process," said Rep. Murphy. "Thousands of Southsiders used this section of Shelbyville Road. I am confident the bridge can be rebuilt to meet safety requirements faster than originally proposed. The back-up caused by diverting and funneling traffic is a public safety hazard on its own."
The bridge over Little Buck Creek in Franklin Township closed just after a Minneapolis bridge collapsed over the Mississippi River in August, killing thirteen and injuring hundreds. A 2006 survey of bridge safety found the bridge on Shelbyville Road in terrible condition, giving it a score of 3 out of 100 possible points. This is among the worst in the state.
Recently, the bridge reopened to one lane of traffic, but the bridge will close again completely once official construction begins. The process of bridge reconstruction can be long and difficult due to strict standards. Before construction can begin or bids can be met, the Army Core of Engineers must approve to guarantee public safety.
The current timetable marks construction to begin in February or March, but Rep. Murphy and others in Franklin Township are hopeful it can begin sooner. Rep. Murphy is hopeful it can begin as early as November.
"In my continuing dialogue with INDOT Commissioner Browning, he has expressed a commitment to speed up the process," said Rep. Murphy. "Also, I am working with Mayor Peterson and Lincoln Plowman of the City-County Council to begin construction sooner. This section of Shelbyville is a critical traffic artery for Franklin Township residents, and I will continue to work with INDOT and local officials to get us back on the road as soon-and as safely-as possible."
Rep. Murphy encourages local constituents to contact him with questions or concerns through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the Statehouse toll-free at 1-800-382-9841. It is also possible to write him at 200 W. Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.