Milton Madison Bridge Project, United States of America
The Milton Madison Bridge project includes the replacement of the Ohio River Bridge linking Milton, Kentucky and Madison in the state of Indiana, US. The 81-year old bridge carries the US 421 highway and serves as an important link between Milton and Madison. The bridge had become obsolete and needed to be replaced to ensure connectivity between the two cities.
In August 2008, the Milton-Madison Bridge Project was launched to replace the old bridge. The project broke ground in November 2010 and involves an investment of $103m. It is scheduled for completion by September 2012.
The project has won several awards including the 2011 National Recognition Award for the use of innovative construction methods. The award was given by the American Council of Engineering Companies.
Milton Madison Bridge Project
The Ohio River Bridge was originally built in 1929 and has been deteriorating in spite of several rehabilitations. It is 3,184ft long and 20ft wide and features two 10ft-wide lanes without any curbs or shoulders, making it too narrow for existing traffic. It serves as an important link between Milton and Madison with about 10,000 vehicles using it on a daily basis. Providing better connectivity to the commuters was, therefore, essential to ensure a convenient transport option. Growing safety concerns was another reason to consider a replacement of the bridge.
The bridge also does not meet the current state or national standards for roads. It is estimated to have a useful life of just another ten years.
To address these concerns, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) partnered to build the new bridge. INDOT and KYTC carried out various studies to replace the bridge.
The new bridge structure will be a steel truss weighing 8,165t. The truss will be 3,181ft long and include two 12ft-wide lanes with 8ft shoulders. It will feature a bike lane on each shoulder. A 5ft-wide sidewalk will be built on the downstream side of the truss.
The project includes rehabilitation and widening of the existing piers. Studies conducted on the existing piers revealed that they are in good condition and could be reused for another 75 years. The new truss is, therefore, decided to be constructed and placed on the rehabilitated piers.
A new and novel construction technique called truss sliding will be used to place the bridge on the piers. The method will include placing of the new steel truss on temporary piers located just below the old bridge.
Following completion of the renovation of the existing piers, the new truss will be moved onto the piers by sliding on steel rails. The technique will help in reducing costs by 20%. In addition, the bridge will need to be closed just for ten days instead of a 365-day closure.
The truss is currently being fabricated in Milton and will be transported to the location by barge. Construction of a causeway in Madison has been completed and will serve as a loading facility for barges carrying construction materials.
The project has received a $20m federal grant. The remaining funds will be raised by INDOT and KYTC.
Wilbur Smith Associates carried out the National Environmental Policy Act study to provide the best possible solution for the project. Wilbur completed the study in 19 months.
CTLGroup carried out an assessment of the existing piers to study the feasibility of reusing them. The company studied the condition of the piers and their life span.
EHI Consultants carried out studies to examine the condition of the existing bridge.
Walsh Construction is the lead contractor for the project. Buckland & Taylor and Burgess & Niple Engineers are providing the design engineering services.
Michael Baker Jr, Inc, was contracted to provide project management, inspection and other services.
Structural steel fabricator High Steel Structures was awarded a $21m contract for the fabrication of the steel truss. The company commenced the fabrication in January 2011.
In February 2011, Marine Solutions was subcontracted to provide diving services for the project.