Testing will close one lane of bridge

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Crews will drill piers as part of bridge replacement study

By Lorrie Kinkade

The Milton-Madison Bridge will be reduced to one lane this weekend as geotechnical crews drill core samples from bridge piers.

From 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 16 through 6 a.m. Monday, Jan. 19, the northbound lane of the bridge will be closed as geotechnical crews with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet extract samples from two piers to examine whether the supports are capable of sustaining a new superstructure.

As crews work around the clock to obtain the samples, overweight vehicles and wide-loads will be restricted, with commercial vehicles or trailers wider than 96 inches prohibited. Prohibited vehicles will be directed to the nearest alternate route - 46 miles downstream in Louisville or 26 miles upstream near Vevay, Ind.

“Testing of the cores will provide information that will be used to determine if there is any potential for retrofitting the existing piers for a new superstructure,” said Ray Polly, KYTC project manager. “KYTC geotechnical crews will drill the bridge piers to obtain the needed samples. Analysis will be conducted by KYTC and Construction Technology Laboratories (CTL) of Skokie, IL.”

Crews will return to the bridge Jan 30 – Feb. 2 to gather samples from two additional priers. The same restrictions will apply at that time.

Building a new superstructure atop the current piers is one of four options being considered by officials in Kentucky and Indiana as the two states seek a remedy to the decades old bridge debate. Other options include, doing nothing, rehabilitating the bridge and constructing a bridge at a new location.

Engineers associated with the Milton-Madison Bridge project have concluded the bridge will be closed within 15 years if the “do nothing” option is selected. If rehabilitated, it would likely close within 25 years.

Due to weather and other factors, the work schedule for the Milton-Madison Bridge is subject to change. Dial 511 or visit www.511.ky.gov for the latest information.