Milton-Madison reopens hours before planned time to residents delight


by William Teague

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 17 at 11:49 PM

MILTON, Ky. (WHAS11)—A week after an historic slide onto its new piers, the Milton-Madison Bridge has reopened to traffic.

The bridge was opened at 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, though it was set to open just before midnight Thursday.

The bridge, nearly half a mile long, is the longer bridge in North America to be slid laterally onto new piers. It moved 55 feet from the temporary piers onto the new permanent ones.

“It’s a great day for the citizens of Madison and Milton. Hoosiers and Kentuckians alike are to be commended for patiently waiting to see the bridge in its permanent home and to resume driving across it,” Indiana Governor Mike Pence said.

Kentucky’s Governor Steve Beshear was thankful the bridge is opening and to have witnessed such a historic project.

“Today marks a major milestone in what has truly been a historic project,” Beshear said. “Watching the bridge slide into place last week was incredible. The community should be proud of being part of engineering history.”

While the bridge is open, there is still work to be completed before the entire project can be called completed, including completion of the pier caps, removal of the temporary piers, installation of measures to protect the refurbished piers and some painting.

Besides work to the bridge, surrounding areas used for construction have to be returned to their original condition.

According to the press release of the bridge’s reopening, it said a volleyball court and a shelter will be rebuilt, there will be grading of the shorelines and improvements to Vaughn Drive. All these are expected to be completed during the summer.

The project took four years to complete.