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Private firms take over Cline Avenue bridge holdings

A sectiCline Avenue bridge rests ground after it was demolished with explosives East Chicago Ind. early Saturday February 12 2011.

A section of the Cline Avenue bridge rests on the ground after it was demolished with explosives in East Chicago, Ind., early Saturday, February 12, 2011. | File photo

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Updated: July 27, 2013 6:27AM



The Indiana Department of Transportation has transferred the Cline Avenue bridge land holdings to a private company in preparation for a new toll bridge to be built.

The state demolished the old bridge, which was shut down in 2009 due to serious structural issues. In 2012, East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland and INDOT signed agreements with Cline Avenue Bridge LLC, composed of representatives from United Bridge Partners of American Infrastructure MLP Funds, FIGG Bridge Companies and Lane Construction Corp.

Sections of Cline Avenue connecting the new bridge will receive approximately $3 million in resurfacing and paving work as part of the transaction.

Cline Avenue Bridge LLC is currently performing land surveys, design and traffic studies, as well as preparing permit application materials for regulatory agencies. Protections are in place to ensure continued transportation safety and mobility. Cline Avenue Bridge LLC will be required to follow national standards for building, inspecting, maintaining and repairing public bridges, including clearance and environmental permitting requirements for the Indiana Harbor Canal.

Once the permitting process is complete, bridge construction is anticipated to last 24 to 30 months. It is estimated to cost $150 million.

The new Cline Avenue Bridge will employ non-stop, all-electronic toll collection. Transponders that are already used for regional toll systems, such as the Indiana Toll Road will be recognized. For drivers without transponders, the other option will be to “pay by plate” where the license plate is recognized and a bill is sent in the mail.

“United Bridge Partners is excited to be a part of the East Chicago community,” said Bob Hellman, Chairman of United Bridge Partners and CEO of American Infrastructure MLP Funds. “We look forward to providing a remarkable new modern bridge that is a solution to traffic congestion and will lead to a growth in jobs and opportunity for people and businesses throughout the region.”



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