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After a year of environmental studies and input from community, state and federal agencies, KYTC and INDOT determined that a method called “superstructure replacement” offered the fastest and most cost-effective way to build a safe new bridge, while having the least impact on the historic towns and the natural environment. Superstructure replacement involves building a new steel truss atop the existing piers, which will be brought up to modern standards.
Due to the use of innovative bidding, design and construction methods, the design-build contract called for the bridge to be closed for 10 days during construction, rather than the anticipated year-long closure.
Using a construction method called “truss sliding,” a new 2,427-foot-long truss will be moved along steel rails and plates and “slide” into place atop the existing piers, which will be rehabilitated. (Click here to view a similar truss sliding bridge project.) The new span is expected to be open to traffic in 2013, making it the fastest modern-day bridge built across the Ohio River.
The bridge is closed until the slide of the half-mile steel truss is complete and road connections to the bridge are complete. While U.S. 421 remains closed across the Ohio River between Madison, Ind., and Milton, Ky., detours will remain in effect. Signage is detouring traffic to the Markland Locks and Dam Bridge, connecting Kentucky Route 1039 and Indiana State Road 101, 26 miles upstream, or the I-65 Kennedy Bridge in Louisville, 46 miles downstream.
The nearly half mile truss of the Milton-Madison Bridge was slid 55 feet into place on April 10, 2014. Additional work still has to be done, which includes completion of the pier caps, removal of the temporary piers, installation of measures to protect the refurbished piers and some painting.