Dignitaries Dedicate New Milton-Madison Bridge

Photo: Courtesy of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

The communities of Milton, Ky., and Madison, Ind., turned out on Tuesday as Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, joined by other dignitaries, led a public dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Milton-Madison Bridge over the Ohio River.

At 2,428 ft long, the steel truss bridge became the longest bridge in North America to be slid laterally into place when it was moved 55 ft from temporary piers onto refurbished permanent piers in April.

“This beautiful new bridge will serve both Kentucky and Indiana for generations to come,” said Governor Beshear. “The Milton-Madison Bridge Project demonstrates the spirit of cooperation between our two states that helped foster a truly innovative solution that benefits both communities.”

A traditional construction method would have closed the bridge for more than one year. Walsh Construction Company’s innovative method of building the new bridge greatly reduced closure time by allowing drivers to use the bridge on temporary piers, while the old bridge was demolished and the existing piers were refurbished.

Madison Mayor Damon Welch said the bridge is vital to his city. He remarked, “Madison depends a great deal on tourism and reliable cross-river access is so important. It’s wonderful that we have a new bridge that will help keep this community thriving for another 85 years and beyond.”

And Representative Rand, co-chair of the House Appropriations Committee, stressed the importance of getting the project funded. “This bridge is literally a lifeline for residents of Trimble County (Kentucky). We as a legislative body were determined that this project got the funding it deserved,” he said.

During the slide, polished steel sliding plates were secured on top of the refurbished piers. Steel cables and eight computer-controlled hydraulic jacks were used to pull the bridge and slide it into place.

The article “Move That Bridge” in the February 2012 issue of MSC describes the project in detail and explains how the decision to use the innovative sliding technique stemmed from the system’s success on the Capilano River Bridge project in Vancouver, Canada.

For more information about the bridge, visit

Photo: Courtesy of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet