M-M Bridge Span Lifted Tues., Then Slides Wed.

Posted On June 26, 2012
Milton-Madison Bridge

The 600-foot bridge span is escorted into place by tug boats Monday.

Milton-Madison Bridge Project

(Madison, Ind.) – A major step in replacing the Milton-Madison Bridge is taking place Tuesday.


Crews with Walsh Construction are lifting a 1,770-ton, 600-foot replacement bridge span into place from barges.  It’s part of a $103 million project to completely replace the span that will open later this year.


Many onlookers have turned out to watching the lift from the river banks. Using a method called “strand jacking” – designed to move heavy structures using bundled strands of steel cable – the span will be raised 85 feet and lowered onto temporary piers. The lift will take most of the day to complete.


On Wednesday, a massive, 125-ton beam called a “sliding girder,” will be placed under the truss. 


Boats on the river are being kept away from the bridge construction so their wakes do not interrupt the delicate process. Boats must stay back 500 feet on either side of the bridge. Additionally, a “no wake” zone will be established 1,000 feet upstream and downstream of the bridge during the lift. 


The second 727-foot section will be hoisted in a similar fashion in August, followed by the remained of the bridge being erected using cranes.


Eventually, traffic will be directed onto the new span as the old bridge is dismantled. The project will wrap up in early 2013 when the full 2,400 foot bridge will be slid onto the original bridge piers which are being rehabilitated and strengthened.


The existing Milton-Madison Bridge remains open during the lift. A three-ton weight limit and 36-foot length restriction remain in effect for the bridge.


See a time lapse video of the span being positioned on Monday below. Video courtesy of the Milton-Madison Bridge Project: