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 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 began on the Cline Avenue Bridge in 1979 for a bridge over the Indiana Harbor Canal with connections to employment centers of East Chicago, Indiana. 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. In late 2009, state officials discovered the bridge was severely weakened by corrosion and had to be closed to traffic. The closure meant local traffic was forced onto local streets causing traffic disruptions in the cities of Hammond, East Chicago, and Whiting.
There was no local, state or federal money to replace the bridge. United Bridge Partners offered to build, operate, maintain, and finance a new bridge at no cost to any government entity.
Demolition of the closed Cline Avenue Bridge was completed on January 8, 2013, by Indiana Department of Transportation. Construction of the new Cline Avenue Bridge began June 2017 and will be completed in 2020.
The new Cline Avenue Bridge will restore freeway service from the Indiana East-West Toll Road (I-90) and I-80/I-94 to several mills, BP’s Whiting Refinery, casinos along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and the expanding Gary/Chicago International Airport.