Apr. 16—Completion of an elevated pedestrian walkway that will link West Terre Haute and Terre Haute is well ahead of schedule, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation.
"With the mild winter, the contractor was able to complete more work in the off-season than originally anticipated. Beaty Construction is now projecting the completion of the project in the summer, several months ahead of the original October 2021 completion date," said Debbie Calder, INDOT spokeswoman.
Beaty Construction Inc. of Bogston last year was awarded a $6,646,686 contract by INDOT to construct the 1.17-mile concrete elevated walkway. After the contractor's cost savings redesign, the project cost about $6.15 million.
Vigo County paid $240,000 toward design of the walkway and $1.55 million for construction, a 20-percent match for the project based on estimates from 2018, said said Larry Robbins, Vigo County engineer/highway director.
The project was originally slated for completion on Oct. 15.
While the elevated walkway bridge is progressing, a ground-level concrete pedestrian trail on the east end of the project has not yet started.
INDOT reports that "coordination is continuing with utility companies to complete removal of the last four utility poles" on the east side of the walkway. That section, currently a grassy way, will require a concrete trail that will connect to the Wabash River bridge.
Calder said that the "anticipated utility pole removal, based on field discussions with Frontier (Communications) is by April 28."
Work underway includes cutting and fastening composite decking to the elevated walkway/pedestrian bridge structure. Electrical conduit is also being installed for overhead walkway lighting, according to INDOT.
INDOT reports all steel substructure is completed, along with all handrailing, light posts and floor stringers. Also, end-bent retaining walls have been placed.
The new walkway will make the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area and its Wabashiki Trail more accessible. The new pedestrian bridge will run alongside the 2,700-acre wetlands, which was set aside by the state of Indiana in 2010.
The pedestrian bridge required 300 steel pilings driven 30 to 60 feet deep to support it. The pilings are 12-inches in diameter and were filled with concrete and a strand of rebar. Steel I-beams were placed atop of the pilings to add support. The walkway, which has 10 feet of clear space for walking and biking, is being constructed of composite decking boards, along with timber wood railings.
Vigo County will assume maintenance of the walkway upon completion of the project.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.