Milton-Madison Bridge Slide Thursday
By Mike Perleberg
(Madison, Ind.) – Engineers at the Milton-Madison Bridge project have come up with a way to fix a portion of the bridge that shifted this week, resulting in the Ohio River span’s closure.
Crews will use jacks to lift the bridge to allow for repair of a steel bearing that dislodged early Tuesday morning as a result of installing a slide harness. The bridge dropped one foot because of the broken bearing, which are commonly used in bridges to allow them to expand and contract with varying weather conditions.
The repair will allow the 55-foot lateral slide of the 2,484-foot-long bridge from temporary piers onto refurbished permanent piers to take place Thursday.
Structural experts with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and three separate engineering firms have inspected the bridge and determined that the bridge will be safe to reopen to traffic after it is slid onto permanent piers.
In the meantime, the Milton Madison U.S. 421 Bridge remains closed until the slide is complete and ramp connections are made. The slide will take much of the day Thursday to complete, according to project officials.
Since the bridge closure earlier this week, a ferry boat has been placed at the river to provide transportation across the river for emergency vehicles. For all other traffic, the nearest ways across the Ohio River at the Markland Dam Bridge and the Interstate 65 bridge in Louisville.