Crews hope to pull off engineering marvel in July with Milton-Madison Bridge

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MADISON – Summer will mark the final stages of the new Milton-Madison Bridge.

Crews will slide the new, wider bridge into place in mid-July with the help of hydraulic jacks. The 2,427-foot-long truss bridge currently sits on temporary piers. The jacks will move the bridge to its permanent home on existing piers for the old bridge connecting Madison, Ind., to Milton, Ky. Officials haven’t announced a specific date, saying they’ll have to wait for ideal weather conditions.

Project officials considered “sliding” the bridge during the spring, but that would’ve forced crews to pour concrete in the winter. Officials said that process would’ve been more complicated in the cold weather. They’ll wait until spring to pour the concrete.

Several critical steps remain before the bridge can go into place:

  • Completion of the new bridge road deck, expected to take place this spring when concrete pouring conditions are best.
  • The shift of traffic from the existing bridge to the new bridge which is sitting on temporary piers.
  • Removal of the old truss – or upper steel portion of the existing bridge.
  • Completion of pier rehabilitation with the addition of wider pier caps to accommodate the new 40-foot-wide bridge – twice the width of the old bridge.

The existing bridge remains open to traffic with a 3-ton weight limit and 36-foot vehicle length restriction.

Walsh Construction’s plan to replace the bridge has drawn praise from around the country. The multistep method allowed the existing bridge to stay open during construction—averting a year-long closure. The bridge will shut down for several days while the slide takes place over the summer.

The Milton-Madison Bridge Project is a joint effort between the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet that has won numerous awards for its innovative approach. Roads & Bridges Magazine named it one of the country’s top 10 bridge projects and Popular Science gave it a 2012 Best of What’s New Award. In addition, the project has received several state and national engineering awards.

You can find out more about the Milton-Madison Bridge Project at its website.

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