6/4/2013 3:00:00 PM BUILD IT ... AND THEY WILL COME New Madison-Milton span opens to traffic
CHECKING OUT THE NEW BRIDGE: Traffic rolls into Madison just after the new Madison-Milton bridge opened at 9:30 p.m. Monday. The new bridge will remain on temporary piers until the old bridge is removed. Then, the new bridge will be slid onto the existing piers. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchieemail@example.com)
Elvie Hust applies road stripe tape to the approach on the Madison side of the Madison-Milton Bridge on Monday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchiefirstname.lastname@example.org)
The new Madison-Milton bridge came one step closer to completion Monday when the bridge opened to traffic.
Drivers lined up for the chance to be among the first cars to travel across the new span. Workers moved the "Road Closed" signs about 9:30 p.m. Drivers honked and hollered to celebrate the new route.
Temporary approaches have been used since April 2012. The temporary approaches and old bridge will no longer be used.
"The next step involves removing the deck of the old bridge and then they'll start removal of the steel truss of the old bridge," said Andrea Clifford, public information officer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
The dismantling of the truss will be done by using controlled demolitions, which Clifford said would be done to avoid damaging the new bridge.
The old bridge will be demolished and pieces will drop into the river, where the scrap will be pulled into barges.
After the demolition, the existing piers will be strengthened and widened to allow them to support the weight of the new bridge. After the piers are complete, the new bridge will be slid into place.
There is no timeline in place for when these steps will be completed, but a target date of later this summer is expected.