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Jacking Up Corner of Milton-Madison Bridge Will Allow for Slide

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By Special to The Banner

Workers plan to use jacks to lift the southeast corner of the new Milton-Madison Bridge steel truss in order to replace a steel bridge bearing that dislodged on Tuesday, March 11. This will allow the planned slide of the new steel truss to proceed.

Inspections:  Structural experts with four engineering organizations have inspected the bridge and determined that the bridge will be safe to reopen to traffic after it is slid onto permanent piers. The four organizations are the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet plus the engineering firms of Buckland & Taylor, Burgess & Niple, and Michael Baker Corporation.

The slide:  Part of the slide involves a nearly 100-foot concrete bridge section over the Milton, Ky., river bank. This is tentatively scheduled to be slid into place beginning Thursday morning, March 13, and will take much of the day to complete (time-lapsed video will be provided to media). Preparations are continuing to slide the nearly half-mile steel truss laterally 55 feet onto permanent piers. The schedule for the truss slide has not been determined but is still expected to occur in March. Once the slide is completed, the bridge will remain closed while crews connect the bridge to the permanent approaches, which includes pouring concrete, installing expansion joints and pavement striping.

The ferry:  The ferry has arrived on the scene and will provide transportation across the river for emergency vehicles, such as an ambulance and one follow vehicle. The Milton boat ramp will be closed to allow access for emergency vehicles. Residents are also asked to stay clear of Ferry Street near the Milton boat ramp and the temporary Ferry Street landing in Madison.

Bearing dislodged:  As work was taking place early Tuesday morning, March 11, a five-foot square truss bearing, located at the southeast corner of the bridge, dislodged causing a 12-inch displacement of the truss. The bearing consist of layers of steel plates and a polymer pad.

Closure:  U.S. 421 will remain closed across the Ohio River between Madison, Ind., and Milton until the slide is complete and all roadway connections have been made. The anticipated opening date has not been determined but will be announced as soon as it is scheduled.  All traffic is detoured 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.

Updates:  As updates become available, they will be posted on the project’s website, miltonmadisonbridge.com and via Twitter at twitter.com/mmbridgeproject. Regular updates will also be provided to local news media.

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.