How safe is the Sherman Minton Bridge now?

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - INDOT says they still have not received a specific end date from Hall contracting about when they will be off this bridge and you will be crossing it again. They do say they've gotten indications that they are getting close to finishing. One being that Hall has received all their shipments of new steel. The question now, how do we know everything that was done in the last five months makes the bridge safe?

For more than five months, workers have been hanging off the side of the Sherman Minton installing sheet after sheet of new metal. They were called in after a crack that was found at the end of summer made the entire bridge unsafe and it was shutdown. Many have faith in the work that's been done since. "All they could have done is improve the situation, so I think they've made it better," says Sam Gardner from Clarksville.

But how do we know for sure? "It'll be safe," says Greg Prince with INDOT.

The Indiana Department of Transportation says safety has been their number one concern from the beginning. "We've had many engineers from all over that have looked at this and approved this design and everyone is confident in the work that is being done," says Prince.

Everything Hall does up on the Sherman Minton their workers and their consultants are watching. "That quality control has been going on since day one. Every bolt, every nut, every process of this has been tested and retested," says Prince.

Not only that, but INDOT says the steel is inspected before it even leaves the plant, making sure it's up to specifications.  It's that steel that makes INDOT even more confident that the bridge is better now than it was back in September.

"The tie girders are so much stronger now with the new added steel," says Prince.

Hall will finish putting up the steel at least a week ahead of schedule, if not faster. Does that mean they are moving too fast? INDOT says no. They say there are couple reasons they've been able to move so efficiently, one because of the mild winter. Workers have only taken two days off. The other reason, the plan Hall had was more efficient most than any of the other bidders.

"Hall has been innovated in some of their measures that they've preformed. Everything has went well to this point," says Prince.

So whenever Hall says they are done and leaving, INDOT says you should be able to find some relief – not only from the traffic, but from worries that the Sherman Minton is unsafe.