The first concrete pour for the road deck of the new Madison-Milton bridge is scheduled to take place this week, weather permitting. The pour paves the way for switching traffic to the new span on temporary piers.

Five-thousand tons of concrete will be used to pave the 2,400-foot-long steel truss bridge. The bridge deck will be poured in three 800-foot sections.

The first section, on the Milton side of the bridge, is expected to be poured this week. Subsequent pours are expected in the coming weeks. Workers will pour 60-80 feet of concrete deck per hour, starting early in the morning.

Once the concrete deck is complete in late spring, preparations will begin for switching traffic from the existing bridge to the new span on temporary piers. Drivers will access the new traffic pattern using the recently completed approaches. Traffic will be diverted to the new bridge by way of a short transition span from the approach to the bridge.

Once traffic is diverted to the new span on temporary piers, workers will begin demolishing the steel truss of the old bridge.

Extra care will be taken to protect the existing piers which are being strengthened and reused.

During the demolition, crews will be careful not to disturb a pair of peregrine falcons and their chicks in a nesting box on one of the piers.

The bridge, which is scheduled to open to traffic later this summer, will be closed for about a week while the slide and approach connections are completed.