Hammond's Nine Span Bridge is coming down

January 14, 2013

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(Photo by Dorsch via Flickr)
Hammond's Nine-Span will be coming down starting today. The 75-year-old bridge will be replaced by a modern one.

Construction workers on Monday began demolishing an eye-popping bridge in Hammond, Indiana.

Although the nine-span bridge isn’t exactly London’s bridge but the steel bridge on Indianapolis has been something to see for the past 75 years.

Some consider it beautiful, but time hasn’t been good to it.

The 9 arching steel trusses have rusted and it’s a basket case functionally speaking.

But what’s going in its place isn’t exactly going to be much to look at.

Here’s Matt Deitchley with the Indiana Department of Transportation, talking about the bridge’s replacement.

“It’s not going to look anything like it looks now: the iconic look of the bridge now with the trusses above,” Deitchley said. “It’s going to be more of a standard, pavement like you normally seen. So, not a very artistic, old school type of bridge. It’s going to be more like one of the newer type of bridges that you’re seeing around the area.”

Work to replace the bridge will last through the end of the year.

Deitchley said the bridge will be taken down piece by piece. In fact, Deitchley said some sections of the bridge will be preserved in case another town or community may have a need for a small bridge.

Construction on the bridge started in 1935 and opened in 1937. The company on the project was E.J. Albrecht Co., of Chicago, which also played a role in the building of the Chicago Skyway in the 1950s.

The bridge currently stretches over the Gibson Rail yard, a massive rail yard that Hammond wants to turn into a multi-use transportation facility.

But the loss of the Nine Span Bridge for the remainder of the year is sure to create some traffic headaches.

The bridge connects Hammond to East Chicago where the popular South Shore Train Station is located.

Dunnet Bay Construction Co. of Glendale Heights, Ill., was awarded the $18 million contract to replace the bridge.