Building a bridge

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By The Staff

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation recently announced the kickoff of the Milton-Madison Bridge Project.

The project will examine the need for the rehabilitation or replacement of the aging U.S. 421 span with an affordable Ohio River bridge that safely connects the historic communities of Milton, Ky. and Madison, Ind.

About 10,000 vehicles cross the narrow 79-year-old U.S. 421 bridge daily. KYTC inspections have found the bridge to be structurally deficient and functionally obsolete; it is too narrow to handle trucks. The nearest bridges to Milton and Madison are 46 miles downstream in Louisville, and 26 miles upstream near Vevay, Ind.

The Milton-Madison Bridge Project will take about three years and $5 million to complete preliminary design and environmental studies.

When possible, the Milton-Madison Bridge Project will build upon a 1995 study of the U.S. 421 bridge conducted by KYTC and INDOT.

Officials decided to invest $10 million in improvements to the existing bridge when they couldn’t reach a consensus on a new bridge location.

“We did a rehab on the bridge in 1997. It put a Band-Aid on the problem and now it’s time to do this thing right,” Trimble County Judge-Executive Randy Stevens said.