project gets $20 million
in federal stimulus funding
leaders had applied
for a $95 million grant
by Don Ward
Milton-Madison Bridge has
been considered functionally obsolete
but still carries nearly 10,000 vehicles
a day. A 15-ton truck weight
was imposed in summer 2009.
(March 2010) A $20 million federal grant is a step
in the right direction toward obtaining the money needed for a $131
million project to replace the Milton-Madison Bridge, officials said
at a press conference on Feb. 24 at Madison City Hall. Secretary of
Transportation Ray LaHood traveled to Madison to deliver the news of
We had $60 billion in applications apply for $1.5 billion in (transportation)
grants, said LaHood. There were 1,400 applications and the Milton-Madison
Bridge Project was one of just 50 that received grant money. There
should not be one negative word said about a $20 million grant because
it jumpstarts the opportunity.
If the upcoming jobs bill is passed, more money could become available,
LaHood continued. There are different pots of money that the bridge
Award recipients for the TIGER grant were selected based on several
factors: contribution to economic competitiveness of the nation, improving
safety and the condition of the existing transportation system, increasing
quality of life, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrating
strong collaboration among a broad range of participants, including
the private sector.
There is no better use of tax payer money than the Milton-Madison
Bridge Project, said Baron Hill, D-Ind. While commerce,
business and economic development are important, safety of the people
is the top priority.
by Don Ward
left, INDOTs Bob Zier and
FHWAs Bob Tally talk with
Congressman Baron Hill (D-Ind.)
after federal Secretary of
Transportation Ray LaHood (below)
visited Madison in February.
Prior to the press conference, LaHood went for a ride
across the 89-year-old, functionally deficient and functionally obsolete
bridge that has two, narrow lanes. I was scared to death,
he said. This is an unsafe bridge. It needs to be replaced.
Milton-Madison Bridge Project leaders, lead by consulting firm Wilbur,
Smith Associates, had applied for $95 million in TIGER funding for the
project. Kentucky and Indiana had agreed to pay for the additional funds
needed to complete the project.
Kentucky had alternative plans in place in case the TIGER grant did
not materialize. Gov. Steve Beshears Recommended 2010-2016 Highway
Plan, currently before the Kentucky General Assembly, provides for $89.4
million in federal bridge-replacement funding for the project, which
is more than enough for Kentuckys share.
Gov. Beshear didnt take anything for granted, said
Chuck Wolfe, a public affairs official for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The bridge project wasnt dependent on that TIGER grant money.
According to Indiana Department of Trans-
portations Chief Executive Bob Zier, Indiana has its money, too.
Indiana has money, he said. We have what we call a
Money Bags Fund that we will use for this project.
Both states are in negotiations on the funding and pledge to work together
to get the project up and moving.
Earlier this year, according to Milton-Madison Bridge Project officials
at Wilbur, Smith Associates, bids were to be let by spring, with some
construction starting by summer. The bridge had been slated to be closed
in January 2011 for up to a year while the old superstructure was removed
and the new one put in place. Projects receiving
by Don Ward
left, Trimble County, Ky.,
Judge Executive Randy Stevens
speaks during the recent visit to
Madison by federal Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood as
Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong and
Congressman Baron Hill (D-Ind.) listen.
TIGER grant funding had to be finished by February 2012.
It is unclear whether the timeline will stay the same with only a partial
TIGER grant funding. However, several officials have alluded to the
same time frame.
We could be advertising within a few weeks and letting bids in
June, said Zier. We are aiming for a July start to the project.
We feel good about the project, said Wolfe, It should
be within the same time frame as originally thought.
During the press conference, local leaders were given a chance to express
their gratitude for the federal funds, which were part of the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus package.
Replacing this bridge is a straight necessity, not a convenience
like other projects that already have a viable, safe bridge, said
Randy Stevens, Trimble County, Ky., Judge-Executive. I am relieved
to know that Indiana has its funding because Kentucky stands good for
our side. The $20 million from the TIGER grant is the push we need to
get this through.
Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong said: Our bridge has needed to be
replaced for over 20 years. This $20 million grant sets in motion the
construction of a safe and reliable river crossing that will serve Madison
well into the future. I am thankful to both states and the federal government
For more information about the Milton-Madison
Bridge Project, visit www.MiltonMadisonBridge.com.
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