Milton-Madison Bridge Project

Bridge construction contract
revised for shorter closure

Closure timing won’t be known
until contract is awarded

Staff Report

(September 2010) – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) on Aug. 10 announced a new bidding option that encourages contractors to reduce the length of the Milton-Madison Bridge closure and open the new bridge to traffic as soon as possible.

Milton-Madison Bridge Project logo

Contractors may continue to submit proposals with the original timeline, which requires the bridge to be open to traffic by Sept. 15, 2012. A recent contract revision, however, provides additional scheduling flexibility, giving contractors the option of selecting a May 31, 2013, deadline for substantial completion of the project. The revised contract also uses a complex formula to encourage contractors to reduce the number of bridge closure days. Regardless of which option contractors choose, they are still prohibited from closing the bridge more than 365 days without financial damages being assessed against the contract.
“Basically, the lowest qualified cost proposal, with the fewest number of bridge closure days, equals a winning bid,” said INDOT Project Manager Kevin Hetrick. “By providing contractors with scheduling flexibility, we are encouraging them to shorten the bridge closure.”
The contract revision stemmed from the mandatory July 7 pre-bid meeting, during which contractors expressed concern about pouring concrete during winter months and pier rehab in the event of high water.
“That was the whole purpose of last month’s pre-bid meeting; to give contractors the opportunity to provide input and ask questions,” added Gary Valentine, KYTC project manager. “There was a consensus among the contractors that adding flexibility would allow them to build the bridge under optimum conditions and submit lower cost proposals.”
The exact timing of the bridge closure will not be known until INDOT officially awards the contract in late September or early October. Under the new bidding option, the bridge closure would be shortened, but incidental construction could continue through May 2013.
“Regardless of which bidding option the contractors elect to use, this is still an aggressive project schedule,” explained Hetrick. “Prior to receipt of the TIGER grant, the two states were moving toward a 2013 start to construction.”
The Contractors and Design Teams in attendance at the July 7 informational meeting in Madison, Ind., included American Bridge Co./HDR; CJ Mahan Construction Co./Janssen and Spaans Engineering Inc./Entran; Massman Construction Co./Parsons Transportation Group; Traylor Brothers/HNTB; Walsh Construction Co./Burgess & Niple Engineers/Buckland and Taylor Ltd.
INDOT is using an innovative construction method on the bridge project called “design-build” to replace the existing 80-year-old U.S. Hwy. 421 bridge connecting Milton, Ky., and Madison, Ind. With design-build, the design and construction phases of the project overlap, shortening the completion time of the project.

• For more information, visit the project website: www.MiltonMadisonBridge.com.

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