-A A +A

The record-breaking slide of the Milton-Madison Bridge is complete.  Thursday afternoon, Apr. 10, the new bridge’s 55-foot journey from temporary piers to its permanent, refurbished piers came to a successful completion.

Spanning nearly a half mile, the truss of the Milton-Madison Bridge is now the longest bridge in North America – and perhaps the world – to be slid laterally into place, making this a historic day for Madison, Indiana and Milton, Kentucky.

The slide began Wednesday morning, but was halted in the late afternoon due to high winds over the Ohio River. Walsh Construction, which is building the Milton-Madison Bridge, brought in materials from the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project to help deal with windy conditions and assist in synchronizing the slide onto the bridge’s five piers. This allowed the slide to resume Thursday morning at approximately 8:00 a.m.

“It’s great to see the bridge completed and sitting in its permanent location,” said Dav Kessinger, project manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “This bridge will serve the area well for decades to come.”

“This is truly a historic accomplishment for everyone involved,” said Kevin Hetrick, project manager for the Indiana Department of Transportation. “The people of Indiana and Kentucky should be proud to be a part of this amazing engineering feat.”

Polished steel sliding plates were secured on top of the refurbished piers. Steel cables and eight computer-controlled hydraulic jacks were used to pull the bridge through a series of grabs and pulls until the bridge was slid into place. The 30-million pound new steel truss bridge is 2,428-feet long and 40-feet wide with two 12-foot lanes and 8-foot shoulders – twice as wide as the old bridge. A 5-foot-wide cantilevered sidewalk will be added to the structure in the coming months. The original Milton-Madison Bridge opened in 1929.

Now that the slide is complete, it will take approximately a week to complete inspections, road connections to the bridge and other work before the bridge is reopened to traffic.

Broadcast quality time-lapse video of Wednesday’s slide can be viewed at www.mytrimblenews.com.

A time-lapse video of Thursday's lateral slide will be posted as soon as it becomes available.