Milton-Madison Bridge slide scheduled for early April - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Milton-Madison Bridge slide scheduled for early April

Posted: Updated:

From Milton-Madison Bridge Project

MILTON, KY - Preparation work continues for theslide of the Milton-Madison Bridge, which is tentatively scheduled to takeplace the week of April 6. Once the bridge has been moved onto its permanentpiers, it will take approximately a week to complete inspections, roadconnections to the bridge and other work. As a result, the bridge will remainclosed until mid-April.
 
Additional restraints are being installed and the sliding harnesses modified aspart of the prep work. This additional work follows a four-step process: The measures are designed off site, the designs are reviewed by the states, thematerials are fabricated and/or delivered to the site, and finally, they areinstalled by bridge crews.
 
Each of the four steps has its own timeline, and one must be completed beforethe next. "We're working diligently and carefully to move the bridge and get itreopened safely and in a timely manner," said Kevin Hetrick, project managerfor the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).
 
Structural engineers will continue to monitor and inspect the bridge throughoutthe process to ensure it is safe through all phases of work. Meanwhile, WalshConstruction crews continue to work as they are able on other tasks that mustbe completed before the bridge reopens to traffic, such as installing theremaining concrete railings and deck for the Indiana and Kentucky approaches tothe bridge.
 
Over the weekend, construction crews completed the job of jacking up the bridgeand replacing a steel bearing that dislodged March 11.  The southeastcorner of the bridge was raised nearly one foot in order to slide the bearinginto place. The jacks were then removed, placing the bridge load back on itsbearings. (Hi-res images of jacking process can be downloaded by clicking here.)
 
On March 13, a 100-foot concrete approach bridge section was slid laterallyinto place over the Milton, Ky., riverbank. This was a precursor of theupcoming main truss slide because it involved the same equipment and process.Time-lapse video is available on the project website's News Center page: click here to view time-lapse video.
 
The nearly half-mile steel truss will be slid laterally 55 feet ontorefurbished permanent piers. While there have been reportedly more than 30bridge slides in the U.S., the Milton-Madison Bridge will be the longest steeltruss (2,428 feet) in North America to be slid laterally into place. 
 
While U.S. 421 remains closed across the Ohio River between Madison, Ind., andMilton, Ky., detours will remain in effect. Signage is detouring traffic to theMarkland Locks and Dam Bridge, connecting Kentucky Route 1039 and Indiana StateRoad 101, 26 miles upstream, or the I-65 Kennedy Bridge in Louisville, 46 milesdownstream.
 
A ferry has been providing transportation across the river for emergencyvehicles, such as an ambulance. Residents are asked to keep Ferry Street andthe boat ramps clear on both sides of the river.
 
As updates become available, they will be posted on the project's website, miltonmadisonbridge.com, and via Twitter attwitter.com/mmbridgeproject. Regular updates will also be provided to localnews media.
 
The Milton-Madison Bridge Project is a joint effort between the IndianaDepartment of Transportation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The new steeltruss bridge is 2,428 feet long and 40 feet wide with two 12-foot lanes andeight-foot shoulders – twice as wide as the old bridge.