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The much-anticipated “slide” of a new, wider Milton-Madison Bridge is scheduled to take place this summer, marking near-completion of the bridge-replacement project.
While the event is currently expected to occur in mid-July, the schedule is dependent on weather and subject to change.
With the help of hydraulic jacks, the new 2,427-foot-long steel truss bridge – currently sitting on temporary piers – will move along sliding girder beams to its permanent home on top of 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.
Project officials considered sliding the bridge this spring, but that would have made it necessary to pour the concrete bridge deck in the winter, which is a more complex process. Instead, they plan to pour the deck this spring and slide the truss this summer.
Several crucial steps must take place before the slide can occur, including:
• Completion of the new bridge road deck, expected to take place this spring when concrete pouring conditions are best.
• The shift of traffic from the existing bridge to the new bridge which is sitting on temporary piers.
• Removal of the old truss – or upper steel portion of the existing bridge.
• Completion of pier rehabilitation with the addition of wider pier caps to accommodate the new 40-foot-wide bridge – twice the width of the old bridge.
Walsh Construction’s complex, multistep method of replacing the U.S. 421 bridge – which connects Milton, Ky., with Madison, Ind. – has allowed the bridge to remain open during construction, avoiding the originally expected year-long closure.
The bridge will be closed for several days while the slide and approach connections are completed this summer.
The Milton-Madison Bridge Project – a joint effort between the INDOT 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,” received a 2012 Best of What’s New Award from “Popular Science” magazine and received several state and national engineering awards for innovation.
For more information, visit www.MiltonMadisonBridge.com or follow the project on Twitter.