Preserving history block by block


by News Release

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 21 at 4:50 PM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (March 21, 2014) – Preserving history is a step-by-step process for crews working on the Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Crossing. Historic decorative pylons, limestone block walls and railing that surround the existing Clark Memorial Bridge approach are being dismantled and will be incorporated into the newly constructed bridge approach.

Broady-Campbell, Inc., an Indianapolis-based masonry construction company specializing in historic restoration, is dismantling two historic pylons and limestone block walls. A series of pictures and measurements were taken to carefully document the location of each piece before the process of disassembling the pylons started.

As the first stones were removed, crews were able to assess how the pylon was constructed 85 years ago. Broady-Campbell then designed, built and tested a device to lift blocks from the 30-foot tall pylon. Lewis Pins, a device used to lift large stones, and several steel lifting brackets are being used. Some of the stones weigh more than 20,000 pounds.

Once removed, each block is numbered and stored on a semi-tractor trailer until the pylon is rebuilt to minimize handling that could cause damage.

The process of reassembling the pylon on the west side of the bridge is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks. The pylons are being moved north and pushed out from their current locations to accommodate new lane locations.

The pylons are approximately 14 feet long, 5 feet wide and 30 feet tall. An eagle is perched on a fluted column with an art deco lantern topping each pylon.

Broady-Campbell is an 80-year old company that has done many projects with similar lifting design elements, including replacing a fountain bowl on the Soldiers and Sailors monument in Indianapolis and relocating a statue of Abraham Lincoln with a 30,000-pound granite base still attached.

After the pylon on the west side is reassembled, crews will begin dismantling the pylon on the east side of the Indiana approach to the Clark Memorial Bridge.

Lane Restrictions and Upcoming Closure

To accommodate the work, traffic was reduced to one lane on US 31 South on the Indiana approach stretching from just south of Court Avenue to the bridge. The outside lane is closed, restricting traffic to the inside southbound lane. The southbound sidewalk is also closed.

After work is completed on the southbound side of the approach, crews will place a second row of concrete barriers in the restricted area to create a safe pathway for pedestrians. The created pathway will extend from the Indiana approach to the southbound sidewalk on the bridge, which remains open to pedestrian traffic. Crews will then begin work on US 31 North.

Lane restrictions on the Indiana approach will remain in place in both directions during the northbound work, with pedestrian access maintained on the southbound side.

The existing four travel lanes on the Clark Memorial Bridge and on the Kentucky approach will not be affected during the work.

The restrictions will remain in place until the planned closure of the Clark Memorial Bridge in late May. The bridge is expected to be closed for just over six weeks. During the full closure, new US 31 entrance and exit ramps to and from Court Avenue will be constructed. When the bridge reopens in July, the new ramps will be in use.