Transportation officials in Indiana and Kentucky have announced more details about Wednesday's demolition of the first section of the Milton-Madison Bridge. As part of the plan, a section of the Ohio River is expected to be closed for 24 hours as crews recover debris from the water. July 15, 2013

News Release

Louisville, Ky. (July 12, 2013) – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) today released more details on the demolition of the first section of the old US 421 Milton-Madison Bridge.

Weather permitting, the new Milton-Madison Bridge – which sits on temporary piers 15 feet downstream from the old bridge – is scheduled to close at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 17. The blast that will bring down one 700-foot-long span, sending it into the river, is expected to occur shortly thereafter. It is anticipated that the new bridge will reopen to traffic at or before 11:00 a.m.

“Safety is of utmost importance, so while this timing provides a general idea of when events will occur, the explosives team will only proceed with the blast when the area is secure and it is safe to proceed,” said Will Wingfield, INDOT spokesperson.

In coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Ohio River is also scheduled to close at 9:00 a.m. and remain closed for 24 hours to allow for the demolition and retrieval of the truss span from the water.

In the event the blast is impacted by inclement weather or high river levels, the demolition is expected to be rescheduled for Thursday, July 18.

Spectators must remain outside of the 1,000-foot safety perimeter, which will be maintained by local authorities. Recreational boaters are required to stay 1,000 feet from the bridge. An FAA no-fly zone of 2,000 feet will also be in effect prior to and during the blast. Once the safety perimeter is secured, sirens will sound at 10-, five- and one-minute intervals prior to the blast.

The following closures are expected: (see attached map)In Madison:

· Vaughn Dr. closed between St. Michael’s Dr. and Ferry St.

· Harrison St. (US 421) closed at 2nd St.

· 1st St. at Harrison St.

· Fillmore St. at Harrison St.

· Madison riverfront between St. Michael’s and Ferry St.

· Ferry St. at SR 56

In Milton:

· Milton boat ramp closed at KY 36

· US 421 closed at Coopers Bottom Rd. in Milton

· High St. closed in downtown Milton

· US 421 closed at the top of Milton hill“The main impact from the blast will be directed toward the river, upstream and downstream of the bridge. It is not expected to affect buildings in Madison and Milton,” said Andrea Clifford, KYTC spokesperson.

Noise and vibration levels caused by the blast are expected to be well below levels that would cause any type of damage to structures. Special measures and protective materials are being used during the blast to protect the original bridge piers, which are being strengthened and reused. Similar precautions will also be taken to protect the new bridge in its temporary location.

Using many small explosive charges placed at critical locations on the bridge, subcontractor Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc. (AED) will detonate the charges in intervals to control the direction of fall. The blast itself is expected to last a few seconds.

Pieces of the truss will be retrieved from the river, placed on barges, taken to the shore for further dismantling and eventually sold for scrap. Divers are on call to ensure all pieces are removed from the river.

The 1929 Milton-Madison Bridge will be demolished in a series of three or four blasts about seven days apart over the next few weeks. The public will be notified prior to each blast.

During the bridge closure, drivers can follow the signed truck detour to the nearest crossing, either 26 miles upstream at the Markland Locks and Dam Bridge or the Kennedy Bridge in Louisville, 46 miles downstream. Motorists detouring to I-65 should be aware that the Kennedy Bridge is also under construction, and check for traffic updates.The Milton-Madison Bridge Project – a joint effort between the INDOT and KYTC – has received numerous awards. It was named one of the top 10 bridge projects in the country by Roads and Bridges Magazine, received a 2012 Best of What’s New Award from Popular Science magazine and received several state and national engineering awards for innovation. For more information, visit or follow the project on Twitter.

Source: Indiana Department of Transportation

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