Indiana and Kentucky have awarded the $103-million design-build contract to construct the replacement bridge connecting Milton, Ky., with Madison, Ind., to the team of Walsh Construction Co., La Porte, Ind., and designers Buckland & Taylor Ltd., North Vancouver, B.C., and Burgess & Niple Engineers, Columbus, Ohio.

Venture Wins $103-Mil. Contract To Replace Historic Ohio River Bridge
Photo: KY DOT
New Ohio River bridge will feature an historic-looking superstructure.

The project received a $20-million federal grant in February. The remaining $83 million of cost will be split evenly by Indiana and Kentucky. The cost is about 20% less than the original estimate of $131 million, according to a statement from the Indiana Dept. of Transportation.

The starting date for construction has not yet been set, but the bridge is scheduled to be open to traffic by Sept. 15, 2012 — a full year earlier than originally expected.

In addition, the Walsh-Buckland-Burgess plan calls for the bridge to be out of service for only 10 days during construction. In early planning, the two states had expected the bridge to be closed for up to a year, which would have been a hardship on both cites it serves.

The plan calls for Walsh to build temporary supports just downriver from the existing bridge, then build the new bridge superstructure on top of them. Traffic will then be diverted to the new superstructure while the existing bridge�s superstructure is dismantled and its piers are modified. After that, the new 3,181-ft-long superstructure will be slid into place atop the modified existing piers to complete the bridge renovation.

The new superstructure will widen the bridge from 20 ft to 45 ft. The current 80-year-old bridge has only two 10-ft lanes and no shoulders. The new bridge will have two 12-ft lanes, and two 8-ft shoulders. In addition, a 5-ft bike and pedestrian walkway will cantilever to the downstream side.