FIRST PART OF SLIDE COMPLETED: Soon after the concrete Milton approach to the Madison-Milton Bridge was slid into place Thursday, workers began installing rebar for the edge railing between the roadway and sidewalk of the approach. Below, a worker uses a jack to pull the cables that slid the approach into place. Similar, though larger, jacks are in place to move the main superstructure of the bridge as soon as the bridge bearing, which became dislodged earlier in the week, is refurbished and reinstalled. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
FIRST PART OF SLIDE COMPLETED: Soon after the concrete Milton approach to the Madison-Milton Bridge was slid into place Thursday, workers began installing rebar for the edge railing between the roadway and sidewalk of the approach. Below, a worker uses a jack to pull the cables that slid the approach into place. Similar, though larger, jacks are in place to move the main superstructure of the bridge as soon as the bridge bearing, which became dislodged earlier in the week, is refurbished and reinstalled. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Construction crews successfully moved a 100-foot concrete section of the Madison-Milton Bridge to its permanent location Thursday.

Officials had said the slide could take most of the day, yet it took less than 90 minutes to move the span nearly 55 feet from the temporary piers, Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said.

Workers began to move the section - which now spans piers 1 and 2 over the Kentucky floodplain - around 11:40 a.m. The slide was completed by 1 p.m.

Yet the concrete bridge section wasn't expected to take as long as the nearly half-mile steel truss bridge slide that is still to come.

"(The concrete section) was on a much, much smaller scale," Wingfield said.

The superstructure slide is expected to take about 16 hours to move the bridge about 55 feet east to the reinforced permanent piers.

A date for the bridge slide hasn't been determined, but officials expect the slide to happen by the end of March.

Although the smaller concrete section was planned to be slid first all along, Wingfield said the slide allowed crews to have room to fix a steel bridge bearing that dislodged Tuesday.

"Doing this first also helped to get access to the corner they are jacking," he said.

Crews are currently making a plan to use a jack to raise the corner of the bridge off of the temporary pier. The dislodged bearing caused the bridge corner to drop about a foot.

"The temporary piers were not designed to do jacking," Wingfield said.

Plans will need to be approved by state officials before work begins.

While crews continue to work toward the jacking, the steel bridge bearing that fell to the ground has been taken to Buffalo, N.Y., where it was made.

The unit will be refurbished to correct any damage to the plastic and Teflon pieces that make up the bearing. The steel didn't seem to have any issues from the fall, Wingfield said.

"It scuffed it up basically," he said.

No timeline has been set for when the jacking may be completed, when the bearing may be replaced or when the bridge may reopen to traffic.

Friday marks the seventh charged closure day since the project began.

Walsh Construction's contract for the bridge project allows for 10 closure days before liquidated damages will be assessed. Each day after the contracted 10 closure days will cost the company $25,000 per day, Wingfield said.