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Project Profile: Cline Avenue Toll Bridge, East Chicago, Indiana

Bridge rendering.

The Cline Avenue Bridge will restore a critical transportation route on State Road 912, serving employment centers, promoting economic development, and establishing a vital emergency route in Northwest Indiana.

Source: Credit to United Bridge Partners

Project Name

Cline Avenue Toll Bridge


East Chicago, Indiana

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)
United Bridge Partners

Program Areas

Public-Private PartnershipsTolling and PricingValue Capture

Value Capture Techniques

Asset Recycling & Right-of-Way Use Agreements


Toll Bridge


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.  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.


$150 million

Funding Sources United Bridge Partners (Privately Funded)
Project Delivery / Contract Method Build, Operate, Maintain, and Finance a new bridge at no cost to any government entity
Private Partner
  • United Bridge Partners
  • American Infrastructure Funds (AIM)
Project Advisors / Consultants
  • Barnes & Thornburg (Legal)
  • Figg Bridge Group
  • American Structure Point, Inc. (General Civil Design)
  • Dan Brown and Associates (Geotechnical Engineering)
  • DLZ (Construction Surveying)
  • Granite (General Contractor)
  • Modjeski and Masters (Bridge Engineering)
  • Pivot Engineers (Structural Engineering Consultants)
  • TranSystems (Construction Engineering)


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.

  • Created additional construction jobs and related employment while enhancing transportation in East Chicago.  Construction of the bridge required 300 local employees.
  • Low maintenance and aesthetics for a bridge that will last over 150 Years.
  • All 685 segments of the bridge were constructed in a 24,600 square-foot casting facility designed specifically for the project, which allowed for their manufacture in a controlled environment and for their storage nearby for ready access. On-site casting building offered the additional advantages of allowing crews to cast throughout all four building seasons while reducing transportation, labor, and material costs typically associated with trucking in segments.
  • The bridge will have non-stop, all electronic tolling with transponders.
  • 100% privately funded allows public monies to be used for other area needs since the Cline Avenue Bridge is. No local, state, or federal tax dollars are used for the construction or operation of the facility.
  • Utilized locally sourced materials and labor, low-maintenance concrete with an expected lifespan of over 100-years, dramatic accent lighting, etc. and its design incorporates elegant curves and graceful spans.
  • Every single-cell box girder segment of the bridge is engineered for its exact location within the structure with features such as curves and angles built into each one, which also means that no two are identical. Their geometry offers strength without added weight and will allow maintenance and inspection personnel to access to the bridge from the inside without disruptions to traffic.
  • Incorporated a sustainable concrete design to last over 150 years including eco-friendly LED lighting.
Related Links / Articles

Laura Weber
Communications Specialist/Office Manager at United Bridge Partners

Map view of the bridge location.
The Cline Avenue Toll Bridge Project Location
Source: Credit to the Cline Avenue Bridge, LLC

Map view of the bridge on and off ramp locations.
The Cline Avenue Toll Bridge On and Off Ramp Locations
Source: Credit to the Cline Avenue Bridge, LLC
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