Milton-Madison Bridge Project
plans tent viewing of bridge span lift
is invited to view event
in shaded comfort
(June 2012) Summer festivals have become commonplace
in Madison, Ind., and people have grown accustomed to seeing big white
tents on the riverfront. But the next time a tent goes up on Vaughn
Drive, it likely wont have a musician playing folk or blues music
underneath it. Entry to this tent will not require a wristband and no
admission fee will be charged.
The next big tent to go up on Madisons riverfront
will be a complementary viewing tent hosted by the Madison Riverfront
Development Committee. The committee is organizing the viewing tent
as a place for spectators to view the lift of one of two Milton-Madison
Bridge spans onto the temporary piers that have been constructed just
downstream of the existing bridge. The first span to be lifted is approximately
600 feet long (the length of one and a half football fields) and weighs
1,600 pounds. The span lift is tentatively scheduled to take place on
June 18, but that date is subject to change.
Riverfront Development Committee Chairman Jim Pruett said that the idea
to organize a viewing area came about this spring when the old bridge
approaches were destroyed in April. During that event, the old approaches
were removed with explosives and construction crews then connected the
temporary ramps to the existing bridge.
There were a ton of people on the riverfront watching the demolition,
and that made it pretty evident that we should be doing something to
accommodate these spectators, Pruett said. We (the committee)
thought it would be nice for dignitaries and people coming from out
of town to have a place to view whats happening with the project.
The tent will not only be open for dignitaries and visitors, though.
We want to bring the whole town together during this really exciting
time, said committee member Marissa Austin.
by Don Ward
first of two spans of the
Milton-Madison Bridge across the
Ohio River is scheduled to be
placed onto temporary piers just
downstream of the existing bridge.
The first span to be lifted is
approximately 600 feet long
and weighs 1,600 pounds.
Austin, who works as the Director of External Relations
for the Rivers Institute at Hanover College, is chairing the tent event.
She said planning for the event has been tricky, since the date for
the lift to take place is still tentative. Thats because the event
is dependent on so many factors, such as weather and river levels. Were
moving ahead the date because that seems to be likely at this point,
but if the date gets moved we will make the necessary accommodations,
Along with a shaded place to view the progress as the lift takes place,
the tent will also offer light refreshments and will be staffed by members
of the Riverfront Development Committee. This is also an opportunity
for us to promote the riverfront and what its become, as well as share
our future plans for it, Austin said.
Louann Waller, secretary for the Riverfront Development Committee, will
be staffing the tent much of the day and will be offering the sale of
bricks and benches to anyone wishing to purchase a piece of the riverfront
development project. The tent is officially sponsored by the City of
Madison, but the event is being funded through the Riverfront Development
Outside sponsorships are welcomed if anyone would like to donate,
said Waller. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Marissa Austin
at (812) 866-7290.
This will be the first of what will likely be a series of viewing events
hosted by the Riverfront Development Committee. The group hopes to hold
the viewing tent party again for the second bridge span lift, tentatively
scheduled to take place in August. The committee is planning to hold
some kind of viewing event for the bridge slide of the new
span onto the refurbished, existing piers as well. This is projected
to take place just before the new bridge opens to traffic sometime in
For more information on the Madison Riverfront
Development Committee and its activities, contact Louann Waller in Madison
City Hall at (812) 265-8324 or visit: www.MadisonRiverfront.com.
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