EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) – State officials are preparing to release a report that could offer a long-term solution for a northwestern Indiana bridge closed more than a year ago amid safety concerns.

The Post-Tribune of Merrillville reports that the Indiana Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing in mid-January to discuss a draft environmental impact report on the Cline Avenue bridge.

INDOT closed the key local link to lakefront casinos and steel mills in December 2009 after an inspection showed that it had become dangerously weak.

Agency spokesman Jim Pinkerton said the goal is to announce a long-term bridge solution by late this year. The 12 options being looked at range from several strategies for re-routing traffic to replacing the bridge — an option INDOT has said it won’t seek.

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