Milton-Madison Bridge closure
now extended to mid-April
Boat ride owners to offer
free rides across Ohio River
(April 2014) – Preparation work continues for the slide of the Milton-Madison Bridge, which is tentatively scheduled to take place the week of April 6. Once the bridge has been moved onto its permanent piers, it will take approximately a week to complete inspections, road connections to the bridge and other work. As a result, the bridge will remain closed until mid-April.
Meantime, the City of Madison and Rockin’ Thunder Jet Boat Rides LLC announced they would provide free passenger ferry service across the Ohio River during the last two weeks of the closure, beginning March 31. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays from the Madison boat ramp to Milton and back.
Rides will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call (812) 701-1155 for information. Please note that no parking is available on the Milton Boat Ramp.
Photo by Don Ward
Walsh Construction is preparing
the hydraulics to slide the new
truss into its permanent place
sometime in early April.
During the closure, Walsh is installing additional restraints and sliding harnesses modified as part of the prep work for the bridge slide. This additional work follows a four-step process: The measures are designed off site, the designs are reviewed by the states, the materials are fabricated and/or delivered to the site, and finally, they are installed by bridge crews.
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.
Each of the four steps has its own timeline, and one must be completed before the next. “We’re working diligently and carefully to move the bridge and get it re-opened safely and in a timely manner,” said Kevin Hetrick, project manager for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).
Structural engineers will continue to monitor and inspect the bridge throughout the process to ensure it is safe through all phases of work. Meanwhile, Walsh Construction crews continue to work as they are able on other tasks that must be completed before the bridge re-opens to traffic, such as installing the remaining concrete railings and deck for the Indiana and Kentucky approaches to the bridge.
On March 22-23, construction crews completed the job of jacking up the bridge and replacing a steel bearing that dislodged March 11. The southeast corner of the bridge was raised nearly one foot in order to slide the bearing into place. The jacks were then removed, placing the bridge load back on its bearings.
On March 13, a 100-foot concrete approach bridge section was slid laterally into place over the Milton, Ky., riverbank. This was a precursor of the upcoming main truss slide because it involved the same equipment and process. Time-lapse video is available on the project website’s News Center Internet webpage: www.MiltonMadisonBridge.com
The nearly half-mile steel truss will be slid laterally 55 feet onto refurbished permanent piers. While there have been reportedly more than 30 bridge slides in the United States, the Milton-Madison Bridge will be the longest steel truss (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., 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 has been providing 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, and via Twitter at twitter.com/mmbridgeproject. Regular updates will also be provided to local news media.
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