Milton-Madison Bridge slide begins Wednesday morning - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Milton-Madison Bridge slide on hold due to wind conditions

Posted: Updated:

MADISON, Ind. (WDRB) -- Bridge officials say the Milton-Madison Bridge slide is on hold for several days due to wind gusts over the river.

It's likely the largest bridge slide in North America, and it has been three years in the making.

The Milton Madison Bridge was slowly pulled forward 16 feet Wednesday and placed onto restored piers.

Bridge officials say the earliest the bridge slide could resume is this weekend.

The wind gusts affected the synchronization of sliding the bridge over the five piers, officials say.

The bridge will reopen one week after the slide is complete.

Crews are reinstalling restraints to secure the truss and steps are being taken to limit the impact wind will have when the slide resumes.

Viewing the slide is the featured matinee in Madison, Ind. Jack Kimball says he loves watching the bridge be worked on. Instead of popcorn and 3D glasses, all the audience needs is a pair of binoculars.

"I want to see it fall in the river because I can't believe they can do this," Kimball said.

Kimball drove 280 miles from Danville, Ill. to watch the bridge's slow progression off temporary piers. He says he'll sit and watch until the engineers at Walsh Construction are able to crush his doubts.

"I just can't believe they can scoot all that tonnage over there without something getting out of bounds," Kimball said.

Using harnesses and hydraulic jacks, the 30 million pound span will be pulled 55 feet upstream. Officials say the process should be completed by Wednesday evening.

"We anticipate it could happen as quickly as 15 feet an hour, but in reality it may be slower," said bridge worker Will Wingfield. "We want to do this right. We want to make sure everything comes into place as planned."

The sliding of the bridge comes only weeks after a steel bearing used in the process dislodged, delaying the slide and closing the bridge earlier, and for a longer period of time than planned.

"Certainly that required us to go back and look at all the processes leading up to the slide to make sure what happened today happened without an issue," Wingfield said.

Once the slide onto the restored piers is complete, inspections will follow, and crews will work to secure the bridge into place.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.