I-465 re-opened at Rockville Rd.

465 update Jan 11 noon.mp4

I-465 could re-open at Rockville Rd. Wednesday (6:55 report)

Demolition begins on Rockville Rd. bridge

Bridge struck 11pm

Rockville Rd. bridge damaged - noon

Bridge crash closes I-465 - 1230pm

I465 bridge hit

I465 bridge struck

Published: .
Updated: .

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - All lanes of I-465 at Rockville Rd. are open again.

Crews began demolition on the south side of the overpass late Tuesday night. They made such significant progress overnight that INDOT officials were able to completely re-open I-465 underneath the bridge around 12:45 p.m.

A semi running at interstate speeds tore through four of the bridge's 14 beams Tuesday morning, raining chunks of concrete down on rush hour traffic.

"It’s probably the worst crash I’ve seen in 26 years. I’ve never seen anything like this," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Shana Kennedy, who arrived at the scene just after the crash.

Hundreds of pieces of concrete, some as big as basketballs, hit five vehicles. One car had large holes smashed through the windshield. Miraculously, Christine Haraburda, survived. The 28-year-old from Indianapolis is hospitalized in fair condition.

Capt. Mike Pruitt Wayne Township Fire Department surveyed the scene. “That woman is extremely lucky," he said. “She had large sections of the bridge come through the windshield into her car.”

Witnesses told police a semi hauling a car crusher caused the accident. The large machinery riding on the flat bed was somehow turned on. A pneumatic arm extended upwards, smashing into the bridge.

Capt Dave Bursten of the Indiana State Police spoke with reporters.

"We don’t know if it’s a mechanical failure, if somebody hit a button? That is part of investigation we continue to work on," he said.

Indiana State Police immediately shut down traffic on I-465 and Rockville Road.

Indiana Department of Transportation inspectors and contractors rushed to the scene and concluded the bridge was badly damaged. A department spokesman says it will take days just to remove the damaged beams and bridge decking to make travel safe on I-465.

INDOT is not even guessing how long it will take to rebuild the structure and get traffic moving normally on Rockville Road.

The repair process was split into three stages. First, they got two-way traffic moving again on the undamaged portions of the Rockville Road bridge. Second, crews got all the damaged and dangerous concrete taken down so I-465 could be re-opened. Finally, they will rebuild the damaged parts of the bridge, but that part is likely to take months.

Traffic info:

Police had to close northbound I-465 at I-70 on the west side of Indianapolis. Also closed were the northbound on ramps from Washington/US 40 and the northbound on ramp to I-465 from Rockville Road. It took over three hours to clear traffic off of I-465 that was between I-70 and the crash scene.

At 9:30 a.m., INDOT reported all northbound lanes of I-465 starting at I-70 (Exit 9) could be closed up to a week. The crash happened at Exit 13. All southbound lanes are still open.

I-465 northbound traffic is being detoured to eastbound or westbound I-70. Access to northbound I-465 is closed from Sam Jones Parkway and U.S. 40/West Washington Street. INDOT recommends using I-65 to cut through downtown, or use I-465 to go all the way around on the east side.

A spokesperson for Gov. Eric Holcomb released a statement at 9:40 a.m. saying, "The Governor is aware of the bridge strike involving a semi-trailer on I-465 and Rockville Road in Indianapolis and is grateful no lives were lost in the accident. Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Transportation are keeping him apprised of the situation as it develops. Governor Holcomb has directed the Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Transportation to coordinate with local authorities to clear the area and ensure safety and traffic flow as quickly as possible."

The Indiana State Police were assisted at this scene by members of the Wayne Township Fire Department, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Filed under: