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Bridge slide now week of April 6
, Courier Staff Writer
Thursday, March 27, 2014 11:00 AM
(2014 Courier file photo by Ken Ritchiefirstname.lastname@example.org)
Officials announced Wednesday that the bridge slide has been tentatively set for the week of April 6 with the bridge reopening to traffic in mid-April.
A dislodged steel bridge bearing caused additional work to be added to the project's schedule with the jacking of the bridge and replacement of the bearing, as well as the installation of additional restraints and sliding harness modifications.
The extra work delayed schedules while engineers from Walsh Construction subcontractor Buckland and Taylor Ltd. of British Columbia, Canada, designed the modifications.
Crews in Canada currently are working to finish the first step in the four-step design process. The work is being done off site in Canada before being reviewed by Indiana Department of Transportation, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Michael Baker Corp., INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield said.
Materials will be fabricated and delivered to the site, then installed by bridge crews before the slide.
Each of the steps has its own timeline, an update released Wednesday said, and each step must be completed before the next.
Crews continue to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to prepare for the bridge slide, Wingfield said, but work may not always be visible to the public.
Some of the work is being completed in the Walsh Construction fabrication shop in Milton, while other work is being completed underneath the bridge superstructure.
Bridge officials said after the 16-hour slide that additional work to secure the bridge on the permanent piers would take about another week to complete.
Crews will need to finish concrete work, bolting, welding, lane striping and complete inspections to make sure the structure is safe before it opens to traffic.
"We're not going to reopen the bridge until it's safe," Wingfield said.
Until the bridge reopens, a ferry boat for emergency vehicles remains at the Milton, Ky., boat ramp. The ferry boat has made several trips across the river to provide ambulances access to King's Daughters' Health services in Madison.
Ferry service is not available to the public during the closure, Wingfield said. It would take weeks to arrange for another ferry boat to travel to the area, and the ferry boat landings on both sides of the river would need to be reconfigured to allow for the additional traffic.
Marked detours take travelers to the Markland Locks and Dam Bridge connecting Indiana State Road 101 and KY 1039 about 26 miles upstream or to the Kennedy Bridge in Louisville nearly 46 miles downstream.
Walsh Construction continues to face $25,000 in liquidated damages each calendar day the bridge remains closed. The liquidated damages result in a reduction of the final payment to the company at the end of the project, Wingfield said.
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