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MADISON, Ind. (WDRB) -- It is one of the most innovative engineering projects in the world -- and it won't be long before the bridge between Milton, Ky. and Madison, Ind. is open for traffic.
Workers are continuing to install the concrete decking on the new bridge.
Roughly 5,000 tons of concrete are being used to pave the new 2,400 foot-long bridge. Once the deck work is complete in a few weeks, traffic will be switched from the old bridge to the new one, which is currently resting on temporary piers.
"I think there is a kind of excitement in town," Madison Mayor Damon Welch told WDRB News. "We are witnessing history."
Once the new bridge is open to traffic, workers from Walsh Construction will begin demolishing the steel truss of the old bridge, which is now 84 years old and obsolete.
Extra care will be taken to existing piers of the old bridge, which have been strengthened to hold the new bridge when the so-called "big slide" takes place sometime this summer.
"The big thing is going to be the slide over," said the mayor. "We expect a lot of people in town to watch that."
So many people, in fact, that the city of Madison is planning a special event at the end of July to celebrate its new bridge.
"We will be hosting a bridge slide celebration," explained Andrew Forrester, the executive director of community relations for the city of Madison. "We cannot know exactly when they will be doing the slide until a few weeks out, but we as a community really want to spend time celebrating this occasion."
This innovative construction project has allowed traffic to move across the Ohio River here with only five days of interruptions. When the new bridge is moved onto its permanent piers, traffic will once again have to be stopped for about a week.
The entire project expected to be completed by late summer.