New Milton-Madison Bridge To Reopen Thursday
By Mike Perleberg
(Madison, Ind.) – After three years in the making and a month-long closure, the new Milton-Madison Bridge will open to traffic Thursday.
The U.S. 421 bridge over the Ohio River has been closed since March 11. The new bridge span was slid from temporary piers to its refurbished, permanent piers last week. See a video of the slide at the end of this story.
Just before noon Wednesday, bridge project officials announced the Milton-Madison Bridge will reopen to all traffic at 11:59 p.m. Thursday night, April 17, if not sooner. That’s if weather allows.
The reopening comes as welcome news for commuters, who have been having to detour to either the Markland Dam or the I-65 bridge in Louisville for the past month. The closure was only supposed to last a week for the bridge slide, but a steel beam dislodged on March 11 closing the bridge and delaying the slide. That beam has since been repaired.
Engineers say that additional work to the bridge will follow Thursday’s reopening. Crews still have to complete the pier caps, remove of the temporary piers, install measures to protect the refurbished piers and do some painting.
As a result, the bridge is still considered a work zone and has a speed limit of 20 miles per hour. Drivers will also encounter some occasional lane shifts. Motorists are urged to proceed with caution while the bridge remains an active work zone.
Bridge project officials said there is no planned ceremony in conjunction with the reopening. An event to mark the completion of the project will be held later this year.