Bridge Update

Milton-Madison Bridge Project
expected to let bids in September

Contractor to determine schedule for bridge closure

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(July 2010) – After a brief slowdown while funding was being secured, the Milton-Madison Bridge Project has once again kicked into high gear with the advertisement in June for contractors to bid on the project. Bids are expected to be let in September, and the design-build team awarded the project will announce at that time the proposed schedule for construction. The team also will determine the total closure time of the existing bridge and the startup of the free ferry service while the new bridge is being built, according to project officials.

Bridge Building Timeline
• June:
Project managers begin advertising for contractors to design-build Milton Madison Bridge.
• July: A pre-bid meeting for potential bidders will be held in Madison. Meeting is mandatory for any prospective design-build teams.
• August: Contractors will work on fine-tuning details of their bids.
• September: Project bids will be opened and read in public at a bid letting. The contract will be awarded to lowest cost proposal from qualified design-build team.
• 2011-September 2012: Contractor will announce schedule for when bridge closes to traffic. Ferry service will start at some point during this time. The contractor has 24 months from time of contract for bridge to be re-opened for traffic.
• Oct. 30, 2012: Bridge must be “substantially complete.”
• Dec. 31, 2012: Bridge project must be completely finished.

The entire project must be completed by Dec. 31, 2012. Originally, the proposed schedule called for a Feb. 2012 completion date, but a small funding snafu pushed that date back six months.
“We had initially hoped for $95 million in federal TIGER grant money,” said John Carr, project manager for lead consultant Wilbur Smith Associates. “We actually received $20 million, so the states had to work together to find the remaining funds.” It is estimated the superstructure replacement proposal for the 89-year-old bridge will cost a total of $131 million. Indiana and Kentucky agreed to split the remaining cost for the project.
A battle in the Kentucky Legislature over budgeting issues for the state also delayed the project. However, once the budget passed, Kentucky’s recently enacted highway plan allocated $6.95 million in the current fiscal year to the Milton-Madison Bridge Project for right of way, and $3.38 million for utilities. It also allocated $60 million for construction for fiscal year 2011, said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Spokesperson Chuck Wolfe. “All of that funding is federal bridge replacement funding,” he said.
Indiana’s share is being financed with traditional highway funds beyond the TIGER grant, said Will Wingfield, Indiana Department of Transportation Office of Communications spokesperson. “Competitive contractor bids will play a large role in determining the final cost of the Milton-Madison Bridge Project,” he said. “Indiana is bidding out the construction contract, and both states are splitting the costs equally.”
In June, advertisements were placed in regional newspapers and on the INDOT and KYTC, and project websites. “Only qualified contractors will be considered for the project,” said Carr.

Michael Cline

Photos by Don Ward

Newly appointed Indiana
Department of Transportation
Commissioner Michael B. Cline on
June 24 joins local officials from
Madison, Ind., and Milton, Ky., to
announce the advertisement of the
design-build contract for a new
Milton-Madison Bridge. Below, Cline
awaits his turn to speak while
sitting between Milton Mayor
Denny Jackson (left) and Madison
Mayor Tim Armstrong.

Carr will soon hand off the leadership of the project to Aaron Stover of Michael Baker Jr. Engineering during the construction phase of the project. KYTC’s project team will be led by Gary Valentine, while Kevin Hetrick will be the project manager for INDOT.
During July, Milton-Madison Bridge Project officials will offer an opportunity for potential bidders to get detailed information on the project prior to submitting a proposal. Attendance at a pre-bid meeting is mandatory for all prospective design-build teams. Design-build is an innovative construction method that INDOT will use on the project.
“It doesn’t shorten any of the requirements or safety of the project,” said Carr. “We combined some of the steps for the project, and it has shortened the time prior to construction of the bridge.”
In September, project bids will be opened and read in public at a September bid letting. The bids will then be reviewed for feasibility and to make sure they meet project requirements. The contract will be awarded to the qualified design-build team with the lowest cost proposal that meets all contract requirements.

John Carr


The new bridge has to be opened for traffic within 24 months from time of contract, so that will put that particular deadline at Sept. 2012,” said Carr.
He also emphasized that complete bridge closure in which the ferry service will operate to transport vehicles and people across the river is supposed to take nine to 12 months. “We will know more about the actual construction schedule and when the bridge will be completely shut down when we award the contract,” he said. ‘Our goal is to minimize the time people use the ferry and get that bridge re-opened as soon as possible.”

• For more information, visit the project’s newly designed website at: www.MiltonMadisonBridge.com.

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