Settlement offered in Holliday Road Bridge accident

This photo from December 2017 shows the destruction caused by this tractor to the bridge on Holliday Road. Now an insurance settlement has been offered to the county which paid to have the historic bridge restored.

Boone County has been offered a $1.1 million settlement for the repair of Bridge 207 on Holiday Road.

County Attorney Bob Clutter told the commissioners during their regular meeting this week that the settlement offer was almost complete with Northwestern Insurance. Last year, Boone County sued the insurance company to spark negotiations, as the insurance company was not responding to communications from Clutter.

The settlement is only $23,000 short of paying off the entire cost of the repairs. Clutter said that was less expensive than a costly court case that was scheduled in June. Commissioner Tom Santelli applauded the settlement and the fact that the money will be available for the upcoming construction season for use by the Boone County Highway Department.

The historic truss bridge north of Zionsville, south of County Road 300 South and west of U.S. 421, was destroyed when Thomas Smith drove a tractor pulling a disc ripper over it in December 2017. The implement caught the bridge super structure and pulled it crashing down around and trapping the tractor.

There were no injuries involved but, being an historic structure, the cost of replacing the bridge was much more expensive than normal. The county paid out $1.123 million to have the usable parts of the structure removed and incorporated back into the finished project.

The bridge reopened last year.

In other business before the Boone County Commissioners:

Duke Energy is laying a fiber cable between Hamilton and Hendricks counties and coming through Boone County. Highway Department Director Craig Parks asked the commissioners to approve a permit to allowing Duke to do about 15 miles of boring along County Road 200 South. The permit allows for some local road closings for short periods.

The commissioners approved the purchase of a new John Deere front end loader for the highway department at a cost of more than $280,000.

The commissioners also approved the cost of a new light pole that was brought down by heavy winds late last year. The cost of the pole is $2,500 and Sheriff Mike Nielsen said the pole also had a camera on it that the department needed.

The commissioners approved a request for voting center dates for the upcoming primary in the courthouse. Information on early voting will be announced later.

The commissioners created a non-reverting fund for Bridge 202 on Sycamore Street in Zionsville. The fund will be used only for state and federal money for the bridge project.

Gus Pearcy writes for the Lebanon Reporter. Reach him at gus.pearcy@reporter.net.

Gus Pearcy writes for the Lebanon Reporter. Reach him at gus.pearcy@reporter.net.

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