Plenty of detour options for winter bridge project near Hope

When a rural road is closed northeast of Hope this winter, it is not expected to cause significant inconvenience for most drivers in Flat Rock and Hawcreek townships.

The closure of County Road 1020E will allow the existing bridge over Little Haw Creek to be replaced, Bartholomew County highway engineer Danny Hollander said.

However, there are a number of nearby north-south roads that can serve as detours for those traveling between County Road 800N to the south and East Stafford Road to the north.

Six construction firms submitted bids to replace the bridge, which all came in under the engineer’s estimate of $500,000. The lowest bid, accepted by the Bartholomew County commissioners, was from Franklin-based Duncan Robertson Inc. to do the work for $342,186. The highest bid was for nearly $463,000.

Although bridge replacements are routine, few projects have garnered as many bids during the past few years as this one, county commissioner Larry Kleinhenz said.

Factors that include a state-level increase in road funds, record-low asphalt prices and high demand from the private sector have allowed construction firms to be more selective about what projects they take, Hollander said.

While most road projects require warmer temperatures for soil control, crews are able to perform bridge projects over the winter because concrete holds heat, Hollander said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.