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Special to The Trimble Banner
The Milton-Madison Bridge Project reached another milestone this week as the last steel beam was lifted into place on the new truss bridge. But, with the truss – or steel framework – still sitting on temporary piers, there are several crucial steps that must take place before the new bridge is complete in late spring 2013.
Construction on the new 7,230-ton steel truss began in September 2011. Once the truss is completed this week, workers will turn their attention to building the bridge road deck by placing the formwork and 484-tons of reinforcing steel. Preparations for the bridge deck are expected to take place over the next several months, concluding with the concrete placement in the spring. Cold weather construction methods will be used when pouring the bridge deck in cooler temperatures.
“Right now, anyone driving through the area will see two bridges sitting side by side, about 17 feet apart,” said Kevin Hetrick, Project Manager for the Indiana Department of Transportation. “Sometime in 2013, we’ll remove the old truss off of the existing bridge and slide this new truss onto the existing piers, which are being rehabbed and reused.”
As it has for all but a few days during construction, the existing bridge remains open to traffic, with a 3-ton weight limit and 36-foot vehicle length restriction.
“People ask us on a regular basis why we’re building the bridge in this complex manner,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Project Manager Dav Kessinger. “The answer is simple: replacing the bridge using this unique method has allowed us to keep the existing bridge open during construction, which is vitally important to people living in that area.”