A deteriorating bridge has forced Bartholomew County officials to close a section of road north of Anderson Falls Park indefinitely.
County Road 300N in Clifty Township is now off-limits to all traffic between county roads 1100E and 1125E, said Stacey Gross, Bartholomew County Highway Department technical supervisor.
The closing is due to heavy rust found during a recent inspection on critical parts of Bridge 39, county highway engineer Danny Hollander said.
Two years ago, the maximum weight limit on the bridge was lowered to 3 tons. While the county had planned to replace the structure this year, all bids received from construction firms this spring came in substantially over the anticipated cost, Hollander said.
Higher costs are largely due to lower interest rates, which has prompted a higher-than-normal demand for construction workers in both the public and private sectors, Hollander said.
While the county is still looking into possible repairs, discussions with neighbors indicates there may be public support for keeping that section of road closed, Hollander said.
With the low-traffic volume, current high construction costs and alternate routes to State Road 46 East that add little to no distance, officials may determine that a permanent closure might be the best alternative, Hollander said.