The slide of the new Madison-Milton bridge onto its piers will take place this summer.

Project officials had considered sliding the bridge this spring, but that would have made it necessary to pour the concrete bridge deck in the winter, which is a more complex process.

While the slide is expected to occur in mid-July, the schedule depends on weather conditions.

Using hydraulic jacks, the new 2,427-foot-long steel truss bridge - currently sitting on temporary piers - will move along sliding girder beams to its permanent home on top of the existing piers which are being rehabbed and reused.

As it has for all but a few days during construction, the existing bridge remains open to traffic, with a 3-ton weight limit and 36-foot vehicle length restriction. 

Several crucial steps must take place before the slide can occur, including:

• Completion of the new bridge road deck, expected to take place this spring when concrete pouring conditions are best.

• The shift of traffic from the existing bridge to the new bridge.

• Removal of the old truss - or upper steel portion of the existing bridge.

• Completion of pier rehabilitation with the addition of wider pier caps to accommodate the new 40-foot-wide bridge - twice the width of the old bridge.    

The bridge will be closed for several days while the slide and approach connections are completed this summer.