The Milton-Madison Bridge has connected the small river towns of Madison, Indiana and Milton, Kentucky for 85 years. However, after eight decades and millions of vehicle crossings, the bridge’s 20-foot-wide road deck had become too narrow to handle modern traffic, and the bridge was showing signs of deterioration.
Seizing on the opportunity to replace the aging bridge with the least impact on the public, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation worked with a contractor on a replacement plan that compressed what would have been a one-year closure to two short closures totaling just a few weeks. While the existing bridge remained open to traffic, steel cables and eight computer-controlled hydraulic jacks were used to move the new bridge until it was slid into place adjacent to the original bridge.
The new 30-million pound, 2,429-foot long structure boasts 12-foot lanes and eight-foot shoulders – twice as wide as the old bridge – as well as a five-foot-wide cantilevered sidewalk. Slid into place in just 12.5 hours, it is the longest bridge to be moved upstream in the United States.