On September 30, 2020, officials from the City of Columbus, Bartholomew County, INDOT, Louisville & Indiana Railroad, Cummins Inc. and Milestone Contractors gathered with citizens to officially cut the ribbon and open the overpass.

The overpass officially opened on June 26, 2020 with a ceremonial “first ride” with Mayor Lienhoop and the Lienhoop family in Columbus Fire Department’s 1937 Stutz Fire Engine. Since it was opened in June, the overpass has had 40,000 motorists utilize it daily.

Some numbers and interesting facts from the project include:

  • Earthwork – 50,000 truckloads
  • Aggregate – 100,000 tons
  • Asphalt – 45,000 tons
  • Concrete – 2,000 cubic yards
  • Workers – approximately 100 workers per day onsite
  • 49 new energy efficient LED streetlights have been installed
  • 23 feet – the height of the overpass when it clears the railroad tracks

Timeline:

2016 – City engages American Structurepoint to study the impact of increased train traffic on residents and local businesses, and to offer overpass options for consideration. American Structurepoint presented its findings to the Redevelopment Commission and City Council on November 21, 2016.

2017 – On July 5, an announcement was made for a $35M project, 50% funded by INDOT, and the remaining 50% funded by the City of Columbus, Cummins Inc, Bartholomew County, Louisville & Indiana Railroad, and CSX Railroad.

2019 – On November 4, 2019, officials with the City of Columbus, Bartholomew County, Cummins Inc and representatives from the Louisville & Indiana and CSX Railroads officially broke ground on the Columbus Railroad Project overpass.

June 2020 – State Road 46 reopened to eastbound traffic

July 2020 – State Road 46 reopened to westbound traffic

September 2020 – Officials host the official ribbon cutting for the State Road 46 Overpass

Spring 2021 – An additional $1 million in finishing touches, grading, and landscaping was completed, including 2,500 trees and shrubs.

Purpose of Project:
Due to an increased need by their customers, CSX is investing $100 million to make improvements to the railroad line between Louisville, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana.  These improvements include a solid, welded track and improved crossings to allow for more trains, heavier trains and faster train speeds along this corridor, except through Columbus.

With increased traffic, the previous intersection would have been unsuitable and would have increased delays in transit of people and goods and services along the State Road 46 corridor. By constructing the overpass, this issue has been resolved, allowing for citizens to enjoy timely travel and commerce to continue as scheduled.

Railroad Impact Study (2016)
Project Photos