A southern Indiana bridge that goes across the Ohio River is not expected to reopen until next month at the earliest. The Indiana Department of Transportation says it will take approximately two more weeks before the Milton-Madison Bridge is ready for traffic. March 18, 2014
As preparation work continues for the main slide of the Milton-Madison Bridge, it appears likely the bridge will remain closed through at least the end of the month. The sequence of events required to open the bridge will take approximately two or more weeks.
While recent events will cause a longer closing than the 10 days called for in the construction contract, the overall impact is still significantly less than the year-long closure originally anticipated. Even with the shortened closure, mitigation funds of $405,000 were provided to the communities to support programs and promote tourism based on the bridge being closed for one year.
The next major task is to lift the southeast corner of the new Milton-Madison Bridge steel truss in order to replace a steel bridge bearing, which dislodged March 11. Four 250-ton jacks will be used for this operation, which is expected to take place later this week.
Following the jacking, crews will finish the installation of sliding harnesses in preparation for the slide of the nearly half-mile steel truss, which will be moved laterally 55 feet onto permanent piers.
Once the slide is completed, the bridge will remain closed while crews connect the bridge to the permanent approaches, which includes pouring concrete, installing expansion joints and striping pavement.
Last week, a 100-foot concrete bridge section over the Milton, Ky., riverbank was slid laterally 55 feet into place. This slide is a precursor of the main truss slide because it involves the same equipment and process, only on a smaller scale. Time-lapse video of the concrete bridge-section slide is available on the project website’s News Center page: click here to view time-lapse video.
While U.S. 421 remains closed across the Ohio River between Madison, Ind., and Milton, Ky., detours will remain in effect. Signage is detouring traffic to the Markland Locks and Dam Bridge, connecting Kentucky Route 1039 and Indiana State Road 101, 26 miles upstream, or the I-65 Kennedy Bridge in Louisville, 46 miles downstream.
A ferry is on the scene to provide transportation across the river for emergency vehicles, such as an ambulance. Residents are asked to keep Ferry Street and the 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 at twitter.com/mmbridgeproject. Regular updates will also be provided to local news media.
The Milton-Madison Bridge Project is a joint effort between the Indiana Department of Transportation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The new steel truss bridge is 2,428 feet long and 40 feet wide with two 12-foot lanes and eight-foot shoulders – twice as wide as the old bridge.Source: Indiana Department of Transporation