TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The first beam in place for the new Sagamore Bridge means the closures News 18 has been warning you about all week have started.
Each of the 25 beams will mean a 20-minute closure at the bridge.
Drivers in Tippecanoe County are responding well to the temporary closures.
It may be an inconvenience to some but many are focused on the end result.
It's a big project.
"I saw the beam on the trailer on the dolly or whatever they call it and they're huge," said Lee Miller.
Gina Adeyemi says compared to the workers, drivers have it easy.
"All we have to do is exercise a little bit of patience and in a little while we are going to have a very nice bridge and it's going to be safe," said Adeyemi.
Sgt. Jason Philhower has been out in the cold stopping and re-directing traffic throughout the 20-minute closures. He says people have been very cooperative so far.
"I think with having the message boards out and all of the media exposure people pretty much knew it was coming," said Philhower.
Mary Kidd wants to return the compliment to police. She said, "They've been doing really good with the traffic, keeping everybody safe."
But there's a plan in place if things don't go as well.
"The biggest thing is watching the Soldier's Home overpass there behind us to see if traffic is backing up too much," said Philhower.
Crashes are more likely to occur in construction zones.
Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service Director Darrell Clase says his crews are prepared to walk to patients in backed up traffic, if need be.
But he says when it comes to calls outside construction this week, detours should only increase response time by 60 to 90 seconds. Adeyemi says that's a small price to pay for what we'll be getting in the long run.
"We're going to have progress people, we're going to have a safe bridge. Now if you fell off that bridge you'd be whining and saying why didn't they fix it? We don't have to say that. Our state, our town is proactive," said Adeyemi.
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