As crews replace the Walnut Fork Creek bridge on East State Road 32, a nearby housing addition has become an unofficial detour for large trucks navigating around the closure.
“There for a while it was continuous all day long and who knows what it is at night,” said Pat McDowell, standing in his driveway on Brenda Avenue, less than a tenth-of-a-mile from the bridge. He pointed to a crumpled street sign on the corner of his yard where a semi truck attempted to turn and got stuck in a neighbor’s yard.
McDowell still counts at least three large semis a day cutting through the neighborhood, despite the “No Trucks” sign posted at the entrance. Passenger cars also detour through the housing addition.
The highway closed last month as part of a $3.3 million project to replace aging bridges in Montgomery County. Crews have removed the deck, cleaned and primed the bridge, Indiana Department of Transportation spokeswoman Debbie Calder said. Over the next three weeks, contractors will retrofit the steel and replace portions that have deteriorated.
The bridge is on schedule to re-open by mid-November, Calder said.
INDOT’s official detour follows State Road 32/State Road 47 to U.S. 136, over to Nucor Road and back to State Road 32. When the closure began, police say they received calls about signage issues. INDOT installed additional signs and barricades alerting motorists to the closure.
“I think they’ve gotten the message that the roadway is closed,” Calder said.
Re-entering the highway from the housing addition, motorists can take Englewood Drive to Traction Road, leading back to State Road 32 in Smartsburg. Since the bridge closure, police say they have made multiple traffic stops for speeding motorists on Traction Road.