The Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development District (KIPDA) Regional Transportation Council had prioritized the Milton Madison Bridge as the district’s top priority for several years. The 84-year-old bridge spans the Ohio River to connect the historic towns of Madison, IN and Milton, KY. The deteriorating bridge had reached such a point of disrepair that severe weight limits had been placed on it, threatening safety and limiting economic activity. The situation was so dire that in order for an emergency vehicle to cross, all other traffic had to first be removed.
After a year of environmental studies and input from community, state, and federal agencies, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation determined that a method called ‘superstructure replacement’ offered the fastest and most cost-effective way to build a new bridge with the least impact on the environment and the surrounding communities. Superstructure replacement involves building a new steel truss atop the existing piers, which are rehabilitated and brought up to modern standards. Thanks to this innovative replacement method, the design build contract only required the bridge to close for 10 days during construction.
In 2010, the project was awarded a $20 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Although original estimates put the cost of replacing the bridge at over $130 million, the competitive bidding process resulted in a proposal for $103 million, roughly 20 percent below the original estimate. The project was completed in January 2014.
The Milton Madison Bridge was awarded a 2014 Excellence in Regional Transportation Award. View descriptions of other award winning projects here.