Milton-Madison Bridge

Trucks to be banned from
bridges during construction

Contractors update public
on plans as the work begins

By Don Ward

(February 2011) – Semi-trucks will not be allowed on the existing or temporary bridge during the two-year construction of the new Milton-Madison Bridge. In fact, the temporary approaches to the existing bridge will be designed for vehicles up to only 40 feet in length.

Aaron Stover


That information was part of a question-and-answer session at the Milton Elementary School during a public meeting held Jan. 18 on the bridge replacement project. Representatives from Michael Baker Jr. Inc., Walsh Construction, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation fielded questions from the crowd of just more than 100 people. The Bridge Replacement Project Team organized the meeting to inform the public on the next steps that already have begun on both sides of the Ohio River.
So far, the work has involved archaeological surveys and job site preparation that included creating a barge landing on the Milton side and setting up temporary office trailers for Walsh Construction at Jaycee Park on the Madison side. Work will soon begin on the existing piers while a downstream temporary bridge will be erected to support the future new bridge superstructure.

Milton-Madison Bridge Logo

Milton-Madison Bridge construction updates
through January

Here’s a brief look at recent and upcoming construction activity on the Milton-Madison Bridge Project:
• Crews are continuing to mobilize equipment and materials in the staging area in Madison along Vaughn Drive.
• Work began in mid-January on an access ramp that will lead to a causeway near the bridge in Madison. The causeway – which will be made up of steel plates and stone – will extend out into the river serving as a loading facility for barges which will carry construction materials.
• The project’s live bridge cam is now up and operating on the project website: www.MiltonMadisonBridge.com
• The contractor continues to mobilize construction equipment and materials for the construction of the causeway on the Indiana shore.
• Workers will move the peregrine falcon nesting box from a bridge pier on the Kentucky side of the river to a bridge pier on the Indiana side that will not be impacted by construction. Orange netting will be placed at various locations on the bridge to discourage the falcons from nesting anywhere other than at the new nesting box location.
• Construction begins on the Indiana causeway which acts as a stone dock or platform extending into the water providing access for workers.
• Preparation work begins on cofferdam construction on the Milton side of the river.

Note: Construction schedule is subject to change.

Regatta race course
to be altered during
two-year bridge project

Staff Report
Madison Regatta Inc. has been working in tandem with the Milton-Madison Bridge Committee to develop a site plan for the 2011 Lucas Oil Madison Regatta.
The impending bridge construction project has made it necessary to relocate and shorten the race course to accommodate the H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes during bridge construction. The 2011 Lucas Oil Madison Regatta will be held July 1-3 on a two-mile course this year. Previously, the course was 2.5 miles long.
Current design parameters have turns three and four in line with St. Michael’s Avenue. Turns one and two will line up in the Plum-Vernon Street area.
Madison Regatta president Crystal McHargue said during the monthly Regatta meeting held Jan. 11 that plans continue to move smoothly in preparation for this year’s event.
For additional information on the 2011 Lucas Oil Madison Regatta, contact the Madison Regatta at (812) 265-5000 or visit: www.MadisonRegatta.com.

Aaron Stover, Project Manager for Michael Baker Jr., led the Powerpoint presentation in Milton. The engineering firm has been hired to oversee the construction by Walsh Construction Co. of LaPorte, Ind., and its two design-build company partners, Buckland & Taylor Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C., and Burgess & Niple Engineers of Columbus, Ohio. The $103 million project will involve an innovative bridge sliding technique to build and then move the new superstructure into place atop the existing but strengthened and widened piers. Similar bridge-sliding projects have been done before but none as large as this one, according to Stover. Three such projects took place in San Francisco, Vancouver, B.C., and Trenton, Ont.
Walsh Construction’s winning bid for the Milton-Madison Bridge proposes to close traffic for only 10 days during the two-year project instead of a full year, as proposed by the other bidding companies.
The first of two five-day closures is scheduled for late spring of this year when traffic will be rerouted onto the existing bridge via new approach ramps on both sides of the river. The second five-day closure will come in late summer 2012 when the new superstructure will be moved into place.
The bridge replacement project atop rehabilitated piers is scheduled to be completed by September 2012 and is being hailed as the fastest bridge to ever be built over the Ohio River. A federal stimulus grant of $20 million was provided toward the project, with the two states – Kentucky and Indiana – splitting the remaining cost.
Stover answered several questions from the audience during the January meeting:
• Semi-trucks will not be allowed on the existing or temporary bridges during the construction project. The temporary approaches are being designed with turns that will not accommodate trucks or any vehicle longer than 40 feet. The current weight limit of 15 tons will remain in effect. Trucks will be allowed on the new bridge, once it is completed and open to traffic.
• The northernmost end of Ferry Street in Madison that connects onto State Rd. 56 is being studied to ensure safety for motorists who will be entering and exiting the temporary bridge access ramp during the project.
• In response to a question about improving the roadway from Madison’s Main Street to the bridge, Stover said the current bridge project does not address that issue. INDOT’s Kevin Hetrick said state transportation officials are aware of the difficult route to get to the bridge in Madison and that they plan to study how to improve it in the future.
• Asked about penalties built into the contract should the project extend past its deadlines, Stover said the contractor would have to pay $25,000 a day in damages for every day over the proposed 10-day closure. A penalty of $20,000 a day would be assessed should the contractor miss its Sept. 12, 2012, bridge opening deadline.
• Walsh Construction Co. spokesman Charlie Gannon said more than 100 workers would be involved in the project by this summer when it gets into full force.
• New road signs will be posted to direct traffic to and from the bridge access ramps and the downstream bridge throughout the project.
• No provisions can be made for natural weather occurrences, such as flooding. The temporary access ramps on both sides of the river are in the flood plain. Stover said, “We’re all crossing our fingers and hope we have no flooding because it would certainly affect our activities.”
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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