kickoff of bridge study
communities are united
in effort to get bridge built
(September 2008) The Kentucky Transportation
Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation on Aug. 26 announced
the kickoff of the Milton-Madison Bridge Study. The project will examine
the need for the rehabilitation or replacement of the aging U.S. Hwy.
421 span with an affordable Ohio River bridge that safely connects the
historic communities of Milton, Ky., and Madison, Ind.
by Don Ward
Ohio River Bridge spans nearly
one mile between Milton, Ky.,
and Madison, Ind.
We are united with our friends in Milton when it
comes to getting the bridge issue resolved. We plan on moving forward
together, said Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong.
Approximately 10,000 vehicles cross the narrow 79-year-old bridge each
day. KYTC inspections have found the bridge to be structurally deficient
and functionally obsolete; it is too narrow to handle todays trucks.
The nearest bridges to Milton and Madison are 46 miles downstream in
Louisville and 26 miles upstream near Vevay, Ind.
The Milton-Madison Bridge Project will be managed with sensitivity to
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshears new Practical Solutions
initiative, which calls for renewed financial scrutiny of road and bridge
projects without compromising safety.
We will continuously evaluate the cost of this project as it progresses
to make sure it remains financially feasible, said Rob Martin,
KYTC project manager for the Milton-Madison Bridge Project.
The Milton-Madison Bridge Study will take approximately three years
and $5 million to complete the preliminary design and environmental
The goals for the initial phases of the project are:
Selection of a bridge location;
Identification of an affordable bridge type;
Completion of a federal environmental study.
As with any major project that receives federal funding, the Milton-Madison
Bridge Project must comply with certain federal regulations. The National
Environmental Policy Act requires that the impact on the human and natural
environment be considered in the decision-making process.
One of our main goals over the next few years is to prepare a
NEPA study and get it approved, said Steve Smith, INDOTs
Milton-Madison Bridge Project manager. The project doesnt
move forward without it.
When possible, the Milton-Madison Bridge Project will build upon a 1995
study of the U.S. Hwy. 421 bridge conducted by KYTC and INDOT. Since
no consensus on a new bridge location could be reached in the study,
the decision was made to invest $10 million in improvements to the existing
We did a rehab on the bridge in 1997. It put a Band-Aid on
the problem and now its time to do this thing right, explained
Trimble County Judge-Executive Randy Stevens.
The approach to the Milton-Madison Bridge Project will be guided by
the need to address the important issue of historic resources on both
sides of the Ohio River. In 2006, the downtown area of Madison was designated
a National Historic Landmark District. Milton, founded in 1789, is one
of the oldest towns in the Commonwealth and has two designated historic
The project will involve the communities of Milton and Madison through
public meetings, the first of which will be held in early 2009. A local
Project Advisory Group will provide input to the decision-making process
by KYTC and INDOT. The group will consist of representatives for property
owners, various interest groups and community leaders.
KYTC is the lead agency in this bi-state effort. Wilbur Smith Associates
of Lexington, Ky., was chosen by both states to provide the consultant
engineering and environmental services for this project. WSA will lead
a team of 13 firms to complete this project.
The project website, www.miltonmadisonbridge.com, is under construction.
Once established, it will house project updates, meeting information
and public documents.
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