Walsh Construction workers in late April neared the completion of the concrete pouring of the deck on the new Milton-Madison Bridge, just as four Peregrine falcon chicks hatched in a nesting box located underneath the new span, bridge team officials said.
Milton-Madison Bridge Updated Schedule
• Mid-May: New bridge truss opens to traffic in its temporary position
• June-July: Demolition and disposal of old bridge truss
• Late August: New bridge truss to be slid atop rehabilitated existing piers to its permanent position
• Oct. 14: Project to be complete
• Information: www.MiltonMadisonBridge.com
Workers spent much of April preparing the wood and steel forms and pouring concrete on the new bridge deck, starting on the Milton, Ky., side in early April. They then began pouring the 800-foot section on the Madison side of the bridge. The third and final pour will cover the remaining 800-foot section in the middle of the new span, expected to take place in early May.
Work also continued on the transition spans that will take drivers to the new bridge on temporary piers once the traffic switch occurs later this spring. Bridge sidewalk construction in both Milton and Madison also continues.
The falcon chicks are located in a newly constructed nesting box that was placed beneath the deck of the new bridge in January by Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife officials. The box is located near the Milton side. Fish & Wildlife officials were hopeful that the falcons would accept the new nesting box, and apparently they have, despite the ongoing construction activity around it.
In January, bridge team officials announced its tentative schedule to divert traffic onto the new bridge span in its temporary position by late April. But cold weather and snow delayed construction activity in March.
Photo courtesy of Charlie Gannon, Walsh Construction
Walsh Construction Co.
workers in April pour concrete
on the deck of the new Milton-
Madison Bridge truss. Work
on the bridge deck was stalled
in March due to snow and cold
weather. The bridge construction
team has pushed its target date
to late May for diverting traffic
onto the new truss. The much-
anticipated bridge “slide” is
now planned for late August.
Now traffic is expected to be routed onto the new bridge span in mid-May using the original approaches, which have been widened and rebuilt on both sides of the river.
Traffic will enter on the permanent approaches, then take a short dogleg onto the new bridge truss while it is in this position. The temporary supports and dogleg approaches will be removed after the new bridge truss is slid into its permanent position.
When complete, this will be the longest bridge span slid into place in this manner, topping a recent 12-hour sliding of the Sellwood Bridge that took place Jan. 19 near Portland, Ore. That bridge span of 1,100 feet was being hailed as the longest such bridge slide in the nation. It involved moving the 87-year-old Sellwood Bridge into a temporary position so a new bridge can be built in its place.
Photo courtesy of Charlie Gannon, Walsh Construction
Co. workers have
concrete on the
deck on the Milton
side and are now
working on the
Madison side. The
new bridge deck is
40 feet wide –
twice as wide as
the old bridge deck.
The planned Milton-Madison Bridge slide, meanwhile, involves moving a 2,427-foot new truss into its final resting place. Using hydraulic jacks, the slide is expected to take several hours during the second of two planned five-day closures. The event also is expected to draw a large crowd, both from the public and the engineering community.
The current weight limit of three tons is expected to be raised to 15 tons on the new truss in its temporary position. Therefore, semi-trucks will still be prohibited from crossing the bridge until it is slid into its permanent position. Indiana and Kentucky transportation officials say they plan to continue the 24-hour state police monitoring of the bridge approaches on each side of the river with at least one officer while contruction is under way.
The original planned completion date for the project of Oct. 14 may also have to be moved back. This is the date that Walsh Construction Co. equipment must be out of the main “footprint” of the bridge by then and the park shelter and volleyball court must be replaced on the Madison side. The Jay-C Park will be rebuilt later in an agreement with the city, officials said. Even after the completion deadline, Walsh can move its equipment to a staging area it created on the Milton riverfront on land it is leasing from Kenny McCoy.
Celebrate the Slide’
• 5-11 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at the Madison riverfront in Madison, Ind. to mark the opening of the new Milton-Madison Bridge. (Note: The actual bridge slide is planned for late August)
• Events: Live music, children’s games, family activities, food vendors, movie, lighted boat parade.
• Free Admission
• Information: Contact Andrew Forrester at Madison City Hall at (812) 265-8300.
Meantime, a committee of Madison and Milton citizens are planning a free community-wide party on July 27 to celebrate the bridge sliding event. Named the “Bridge Party...Celebrate the Slide,” the event is scheduled from 5-11 p.m. on the Madison riverfront. It will feature live music, food booths and children’s activities. Madison singer-songwriter Rusty Bladen is writing a song for the occasion and has been asked to perform it at the party. The movie “Cars” will be shown on a large screen beginning at dusk.
Other recently added activities for the event includes concerts by the Madison Community Concert Band and The Doctor’s Band, followed by Bladen just before the movie begins. The planning committee also has added a lighted boat parade, food from local firehouses and non-profits, bounce houses, water slides and face painting and balloon making for children. They hope to arrange for Crystal Beach to be open for free.
The event is expected to cost about $7,000, and River Valley Financial Bank has agreed to provide $4,000 as the title sponsor.
Several other local businesses have provided financial support for the event, according to committee chairman Andrew Forrester, Community Relations Manager for the City of Madison.
“We are hoping to make this a great and free event for the entire community,” Forrester said.
Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout.
Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email: Don@RoundAbout.bz.
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