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Short Closing

Milton-Madison Bridge
to close only 10 days during
construction of new bridge

Contract awarded to
innovative bridge design-build team

Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS (October 2010) – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on Sept. 28 announced the long-anticipated replacement of the Milton-Madison Bridge will be completed years ahead of schedule, at 20 percent less cost and with significantly less disruption than originally estimated.

Milton-Madison Bridge Project logo

According to the new plan, the bridge will be closed for only 10 days during construction rather than an anticipated year-long closure of the U.S. 421 bridge connecting Madison, Ind., with Milton, Ky. 
“I’ve encouraged INDOT to be creative and think differently, and here is a great example of innovation that makes a great outcome even better. Kentucky and Indiana both benefit from the competition created by using our design-build bidding method,” said Daniels.
The low bid submitted by Walsh Construction Co. of LaPorte, Ind., for $103 million, is 20 percent below the original $131 million construction estimate. It was also the only proposal that offered a plan that closed the bridge for less than a year. The new bridge superstructure is expected to be open to traffic atop rehabilitated vertical piers by Sept. 15, 2012, making it the fastest bridge ever to be built over the Ohio River.
The innovative construction method will slide the 3,181-foot-long truss into place along steel rails and plates. Walsh teamed up with Buckland & Taylor Ltd., which designed the similar Old Capilano Bridge replacement in North Vancouver, British Columbia. That bridge also was only closed a few days while a new span was constructed next to it and later slid into place.
Construction plans designed by Buckland & Taylor Ltd. and Burgess & Niple Engineers of Columbus, Ohio, for the Milton-Madison Bridge will be reviewed and approved prior to construction to ensure they adhere to modern safety standards.
The project received a $20 million federal grant in February, and the remaining cost of the project will be evenly split by both states.
“Governor Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Transportation staff are great partners, and we appreciate the Federal Highway Administration support for this project,” said Daniels.
The Milton-Madison Bridge was built in 1929 and is too narrow for modern traffic. Its estimated remaining useful life is 10 years. The new bridge will look similar to the existing steel truss, but will include wider lanes and accommodations for bicycles and pedestrians.

• For more information about the project, visit: www.MiltonMadisonBridge.com.

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