Bridge opens in time for kickoff

SOUTH BEND- Just in time for a weekend full of Notre Dame Football, Indiana Department of Transportation announced on Monday its reopening the Michigan Street/State Road 933 bridge to four lane. This will happen by the end of the day Friday. Traffic control officers with the South Bend Police Department say this is really going to help with the weekend traffic congestion.

The bridge was closed for a day in June when cracks were found during a routine bridge inspection. The bridge was then reopened to just the two center lanes as a precautionary measure while core samples were taken.

On Monday INDOT’s spokesperson Jim Pinkerton released the preliminary findings of the tests. Pinkerton said the bridge is safe for cars to travel on, but vehicles weighing 10 tons or more will have to take a detour.

Pinkerton says the detour is to save the bridge from more damage. The heavy vehicles could cause larger cracks which would result in a higher repair cost.

The repairs are planned for next year, but the cost won’t be known until the full report is released at the end of October.

For now, drivers can rejoice for the open road on Friday, but that’s just in time for some 80 thousand fans to pack Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday for the season opener.

Lieutenant Steve Goen is a traffic commander with the South Bend Police Department. He says the department has been preparing a football traffic route since June, but Monday’s announcement will help to keep traffic moving.

Goen has a few helpful hints to make your game day travels less stressful.

1)      You’re looking at 60 to 75 thousand extra cars in South Bend, so patience is the key.

2)      Getting on the Toll Road will be difficult. If you can, take the Mishawaka Exit. Goen says it’ll take you shorter time to get to the exit, and then your travels will be faster from there.

3)      SBPD says it’ll run 70 percent of the traffic on the south pattern to the East.

4)      If you’re told you have to travel east, make your way to Cleveland and go west on Cleveland. Follow that to By-pass. You can get on toll road there.

5)      Listen to the officers. They’re going to get you to where you need to go.

6)      Enjoy the game, but expect traffic delays.

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