Commenced in June 2017
Opened to the public December 23, 2020
Length: over 1 mile
Number of Lanes: 2
Vertical Height: 100'
Cline Avenue, also known as State Road 912, is a roadway north of combined Interstates 80/94 and US Route 6. The Cline Avenue Bridge (SR 912) project is located in East Chicago, Indiana and crosses the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, a waterway connecting the Grand Calumet River to Lake Michigan. The 1.7-mile bridge begins west of Riley Road and extends east to its abutment east of Dickey Road.
Construction on the original Cline Avenue Bridge began in 1979 to create a crossing over the Indiana Harbor Canal with connections to employment centers of East Chicago. The previous bridge was part of a new 5.7-mile expressway that followed the path of the former Pennsylvania Railroad main line from Chicago to Pittsburgh via Fort Wayne. Formerly, more than 35,000 vehicles traversed the bridge daily.
In late 2009, state officials discovered the bridge was severely weakened by corrosion and had to be closed to traffic. Demolition of the closed Cline Avenue Bridge was completed on January 8, 2013 by the Indiana Department of Transportation.
With the Cline Avenue Bridge out of service, traffic was forced on the local streets, accelerating street wear and increasing travel times in Hammond, East Chicago, and Whiting. The need for a new bridge was apparent, however government funding for the project was not available. United Bridge Partners offered to build, operate, maintain, and finance a new bridge at no cost to any government entity.
Construction of the new Cline Avenue Bridge began June 2017 and opened to traffic on December 23, 2020. The new bridge restores service from I-90 and I-80/I-94 to several mills including BP’s Whiting Refinery, ArcelorMittal, and U.S. Steel. It also provide faster access to casinos along the Lake Michigan shoreline and the expanding Gary/Chicago International Airport while paving the way for future commercial developments.