Slide resumes today after wind delay
BRIDGE SLIDE GETS SECOND WIND
Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:00 AM
The Madison-Milton Bridge slide resumed early this morning, after strong winds brought the superstructure to a standstill Wednesday afternoon.
After about eight hours, Walsh Construction crews had moved the Madison-Milton Bridge 16 of the 55 feet needed to place the superstructure on its permanent piers.
(Staff photo by Ken Ritchiefirstname.lastname@example.org)
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman Andrea Clifford said winds caused the bridge slide to come to a halt around 4 p.m. Wednesday after the bridge had been moved 16 feet. The total slide is 55 feet.
Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said bridge crews were able to bring in special equipment overnight to combat the effects of the strong winds, which are expected to continue today.
Wingfield said that there is no timeline for completing the slide.
Wednesday's winds were much more severe on the river than on the riverbank where dozens of people gathered to watch the bridge slide throughout the day.
"It was affecting their procedures," Clifford said.
A news release from the bridge project team said the wind gusts caused issues with the synchronization of the bridge slide over the five piers.
Crews had moved the bridge about 16 feet after breaking the superstructure free from the temporary piers. Walsh Construction project manager Charlie Gannon said the "breakout" portion of the slide was completed around 8:15 a.m.
After the "breakout," workers began what was expected to be a 25-foot slide. The bridge had moved about a foot when crews stopped work to check harnesses on Pier 5.
"We decided to stop and make some adjustments," Gannon said during a media update around 11 a.m.
Crews continued with the 25-foot slide around noon, moving the steel truss superstructure about 14 feet before the wind stopped work Wednesday afternoon.
Walsh crews continued to work after the slide was stopped to install restraints on each pier to secure the steel truss at its current location. Workers also took steps to limit the impact wind could have once the bridge slide resumes.
"Safety is our top priority," Clifford said.
The 55-foot bridge slide is nearly 30 percent complete at this point, officials said.
Officials said Tuesday that workers planned to inspect equipment and make adjustments prior to the third step of the slide, which will move the bridge another 25 feet. Workers plan to add necessary welds to connector plates after the third step of the slide.
The fourth step of the slide will move the bridge another five feet, and the fifth step will move the bridge by a foot. The steel truss superstructure should be about a half-inch away from its final position on the permanent piers by the end of the fifth step.
The sixth step will move the bridge the final half-inch to its permanent location on the refurbished piers.
The U.S. Coast Guard will reopen the Ohio River to traffic until the slide resumes.
Bridge slide updates will be posted online at www.madisoncourier.com and the Madison Courier Facebook and Twitter pages.