Monday, June 30, 2003

Indianapolis highway construction project ahead of schedule

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - Progress is well ahead of schedule on the highway reconstruction project that has closed Interstates 70 and 65 in downtown Indianapolis as Friday marked a full month since the work started.

The planned 12-week project, dubbed Hyperfix, could be done a month ahead of its Aug. 20 deadline, although state officials aren't ready yet to set any reopening dates.

"We are significantly ahead of schedule," said Dan Rogers, project engineer for the Indiana Department of Transportation. "We can't put a date on when we might finish because we don't know."

Rainy days, equipment problems or troubles such as last week's crash of a pickup truck into a paving machine are among the many obstacles the project could still face.

"We probably won't be guessing at a date until we are 10 to 12 days out from the end of the project," Rogers said. "And even then, it will be hard to be exact."

The 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week work schedule has Walsh Construction heading toward a maximum $3.6 million bonus from the state if the project is completed early.

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