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Bridge project wins Popular Science award

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Louisville, Ky. – The innovative design and construction methods used on the Milton-Madison Bridge Project have been recognized with a 2012 Best of What’s New Award from Popular Science magazine.

“For 25 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us − those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our view of what’s possible in the future,” said Jacob Ward, editor-in-chief of Popular Science. “The Best of What’s New Award is the magazine’s top honor, and each of the 100 winners − chosen from among thousands of entrants – is a revolution in its field.”

“The creative approach used in replacing this bridge continues to draw a lot of positive attention,” said Kevin Hetrick, project manager for the Indiana Department of Transportation. “There’s a lot of pride in this truly exceptional project on both sides of the river.”

The new U.S. 421 Milton-Madison Bridge, which connects Milton, Ky., and Madison, Ind., is under construction and scheduled for completion in spring 2013. Walsh Construction Company – teaming up with Buckland & Taylor and Burgess & Niple Engineers – is building a new truss bridge on temporary piers alongside the existing bridge, allowing the bridge to stay open during construction. Next year, the new truss will be slid onto the existing piers, which are being strengthened and reused.

The Milton-Madison Bridge Project – a joint effort between the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet – has received numerous awards. It was named one of the top 10 bridge projects in the country by Roads & Bridges Magazine and has received several state and national engineering awards for innovation.

When engineers at the firm Buckland & Taylor set out to replace the 2,430-foot-long trusses on the 83-year-old Milton-Madison Bridge over the Ohio River, they decided to slide the structures in one move. Some of the 15,260-ton steel mass will be prefabricated, and the rest erected on temporary piers. Eight strand jacks will nudge the whole thing across sliding girders until it comes to rest, a day later, atop the bridge’s reinforced pylons 55 feet away.