- Briefing Room
Cline Avenue Toll Bridge
East Chicago, Indiana
|Project Sponsor / Borrower
Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)
|Value Capture Techniques
Asset Recycling & Right-of-Way Use Agreements
The Cline Avenue Bridge project is located in East Chicago, Indiana. It crosses the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, a waterway connecting the Grand Calumet River to Lake Michigan. The 1.7-mile bridge begins west of Riley Road and extends to its abutment east of Dickey Road. The bridge is part of SR 912 and connects to a stretch of Interstate 80/94, also known as the Borman Expressway. This stretch of road supports 50 percent of the nation’s truck traffic and accommodates 10,000 vehicles daily.
From the Cline Avenue Bridge’s west abutment, SR 912 will be restored just east of Calumet Avenue in Hammond, Indiana. From the bridge’s east abutment, the project work will reconnect the Cline Avenue Bridge to Ameristar, Joerse Park, and Pastrick Marina and include the nearby SR 912 roadway in East Chicago.
Cline Avenue Bridge was closed and condemned in 2009, due to corrosion after 26 years of serving daily commuters, vacationers, freight traffic, and visitors to the Lake Michigan area. Demolition of the closed bridge was completed on January 8, 2013 by the Indiana Department of Transportation.
In 2012, the INDOT and East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland signed agreements in with Cline Avenue Bridge LLC to construct a new toll bridge entirely with private funds.Â The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has transferred its right of way holdings over Cline Avenue land to Cline Avenue Bridge LLC - a team comprising United Bridge Partners of American Infrastructure MLP Funds, FIGG Bridge Companies and Lane Construction Corporation.
Thanks to a private contribution, the City decided to rebuild the bridge to accommodate residential and economic growth. In 2016, the Figg Bridge Group broke ground on the elegant new landmark that was designed to decrease traffic congestion and improve connectivity. The project includes 12-foot lanes for traffic in each direction with 9-foot shoulders on both sides. Construction plans allow for the preservation of concrete bridge piers and exit/access ramps adjacent to Riley Road.
Upon completion, the new Cline Avenue Bridge will be 6,236 ft long with 170- to 300-ft spans. The main span over the Indiana Harbor Canal will be about 316 ft. It will connect an existing, fully rehabilitated, half-mile steel viaduct at the east end with the existing SR 912 roadway abutment on the west end. The new structure will consist of 29 cast-in-place concrete columns that support 685 post-tensioned concrete single cell box girders segments, which form the bridge’s driving deck.
The new bridge will operate as a private toll bridge, and once it opens, will charge $2.25 for two-axle vehicles and $4.94 for vehicles with more axles. It is expected to serve as the gateway of Lake County and help reduce congestion and emissions, spur economic growth, and provide local first responders with a more efficient route. The new bridge will restore service from I-90 and I-80/I-94 to several mills including BP’s Whiting Refinery, ArcelorMittal, and U.S. Steel. It will also provide faster access to casinos along the Lake Michigan shoreline and the expanding Gary/Chicago International Airport while paving the way for future commercial developments.
|United Bridge Partners (Privately Funded)
|Project Delivery / Contract Method
|Build, Operate, Maintain, and Finance a new bridge at no cost to any government entity
|Project Advisors / Consultants
|Duration / Status
Project construction began in June 2017 with scheduled completion in 2020. However, construction crews have halted work and there is no new estimated date for completion of the project.
|Financial Status / Financial Performance
As part of the acquisition of the property for the bridge from the state, UBP is providing $3 million in improvements to the connecting state highway which remains in state ownership.
Plans call for the private toll bridge to charge a two-axle vehicle with a transponder $2.25. Vehicles with more axles will pay $4.94. Ten cents of each toll will go to East Chicago. United Bridge Partners anticipates about 10,000 vehicles will use the bridge on an average day.
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