21 votes

Madison-Milton Bridge



Photo taken by Jonathan Maxwell

BH Photo #102824

Street Views 


Madison-Milton Bridge

I made this video in 1996

video by Mike Daffron


Cantilevered through truss bridge over Ohio River on US 421 between Madison, IN, and Milton, KY
Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana, and Trimble County, Kentucky
All main spans demolished.
Built 1928-29; rehabilitated 1997, imploded August 2013
- Mt. Vernon Bridge Co. of Mt. Vernon, Ohio
Cantilevered through truss with multiple elements including Baltimore and Pratt through trusses, and Pratt deck trusses.
Length of largest span: 600.0 ft.
Total length: 3,184.2 ft. (0.6 mi.)
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.8 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Milton-Madison Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.72838, -85.37011   (decimal degrees)
38°43'42" N, 85°22'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/641677/4287895 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Madison East
Inventory number
BH 16383 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 30, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • August 16, 2020: New photo from Mike Daffron
  • January 26, 2020: New video from Mike Daffron
  • January 24, 2019: New photos from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • October 28, 2017: New video from Mike Daffron
  • June 7, 2017: New photo from cory coffey
  • September 19, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: All main spans have been demolished.
  • September 10, 2013: Updated by J.P.: added implosion date
  • July 23, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: Main span demolished.
  • July 9, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added planned demolition date.
  • June 3, 2013: Updated by J.P.: bridge is closed and now waits for its doom.
  • May 23, 2013: New video from J.P.
  • December 12, 2012: New photo from Ben Tate
  • October 12, 2012: New photos from Jann Mayer
  • August 26, 2012: New photos from J.P.
  • November 22, 2011: Updated by J.P.: updated bridge design
  • April 27, 2011: New video from J.P.
  • August 23, 2010: New photos from J.P.
  • August 22, 2010: New photos from James McCray
  • April 15, 2010: New Street View added by J.P.
  • March 14, 2010: Updated by Bill Eichelberger: Added Google Street View.
  • March 11, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: This otherwise doomed bridge is made available for relocation and reuse.
  • March 2, 2010: Updated by J.P.: scheduled for demolition
  • February 23, 2010: New photos from J.P.
  • May 11, 2009: New photos from James McCray
  • January 10, 2009: New photo from Don O'Brien
  • August 11, 2008: New photos from Tom Hall
  • July 10, 2005: Posted photos from Jonathan Maxwell

Related Bridges 


  • Tom Hall - thomas [dot] hall [at] ffni [dot] com
  • Don O'Brien - dok97 [at] frontier [dot] com
  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth
  • Bill Eichelberger
  • The bridge has it's own site! - miltonmadisonbridge.com, all about the bridge along with construction information.
  • Historicbridges.org - by Nathan Holth
  • Jann Mayer - jannmayer [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Ben Tate - benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Mike Daffron - daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Cory A Coffey
  • Melissa Brand-Welch - melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs


Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted June 3, 2017, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Interesting that this is heralded as a Section 106 success:


Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted September 19, 2013, by Luke Harden (lukemh9 [at] gmail [dot] com)
Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted September 16, 2013, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)
Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted July 24, 2013, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Main span getting imploded.


Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted June 16, 2013, by Mark Gish (gishm [at] roadrunner [dot] com)

The contractor is in the process of removing the decking and stringers.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted June 3, 2013, by Mark Gish (gishm [at] roadrunner [dot] com)

The new bridge opened at 9:30pm on June 3, 2013. Demolition of the previous bridge will begin soon.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted May 31, 2013, by MIKE W. (mwoot8 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The new bridge will be opened to traffic on Monday June 3rd 2013.While still being supported by the temporary peers. It will be accessed via the permanent approach ramps. The slide onto the permanent peers is scheduled for August.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 17, 2012, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

New bridge will be finished really soon it seems.


Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 12, 2012, by Garry

The bridge now has a severe weight restriction of 3 tons. We tried to cross in an F-350 pickup and a cop came up and made us back up

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted August 26, 2012, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Went and visited this bridge today, One new truss section is in place. Here is a photo I took through the car window on the Temp approach from Milton. I had to do some editing to fix the quality.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted June 7, 2012, by Don

I'm all for preserving historic bridges but this one really does need to go. It would be nice if they could have kept it for pedestrian use, but that's just not practical. The new bridge will have pedestrian walkways on it anyways so it would be pointless. I have a feeling a lot of the people who are saying that they should keep the bridge don't have to drive on it very much. It is far too narrow. It has done it's just very well for the past 80+ years but it's time for it to go.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted June 3, 2012, by Mark Gish (stuffateria [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The approach spans on both ends of the bridge have been demolished and new temporary approaches have been connected to the current bridge. This required a 4 day shutdown of the bridge (1 day quicker than planned). Instead of being ‘in line’ with roadway, the temporary approaches located east of the bridge, run parallel with the river and then make a 90 degree turn onto the bridge. The new approaches are being built in the same location as the old demolished ones. One 600ft span for the new bridge is complete and a 720ft span is under construction. They are currently floating on barges just downstream of the current bridge. The 600ft span is scheduled to be lifted onto temporary piers sometime this month.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted May 25, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

My interest, and perhaps that of some others here, is not whether the bridge in question is nice looking or not... its whether the bridge is historic or not. Truss the replacement bridge may be, but it is not historic and as James indicates Madison is a town with all the history and the modern bridge will no longer be a part of that history. Additionally, if we are to discuss beauty alone, the historic bridge features visually pleasing lattice and v-lacing and a complex truss design that makes the bridge interesting to look at. The replacement bridge is plain looking because it has simplistic truss design and lacks lattice and v-lacing on the bridge. I would suggest reviewing the newly repaired Eggner Ferry Bridge in Kentucky to get a nice side-by-side comparison that explores the concept of complexity in historic spans. The newly installed span with a simple design similar to the new Milton-Madison Bridge makes a good comparison to the original, historic spans of the Eggner Ferry Bridge, the historic spans displaying the complex design typical of the period.

I also agree with James. A "win-win" situation would be one where both preservation was accomplished alongside providing a bridge that serves the functional needs of the area. Leaving the historic bridge for pedestrian use would have been a great option. Another option would have been to increase regional traffic corridors (rather than simply maintain existing by replacing existing infrastructure) and construct a new bridge in a nearby location. After observing that US-421 encounters four 90 degree turns in Madison and three 90 or near 90 degree turns in Milton, I am of the opinion that constructing a US-421 bypass around these towns would provide a safer, more efficient route for trucks (the only type of traffic that can take advantage of the increased weight limit a new bridge provides) while removing these noisy, heavy trucks from the downtown areas. The existing historic bridge could then serve local traffic (passenger cars). This also would enhance regional safety and efficiency: if one bridge needs to close for repairs or inspection, there is a backup bridge.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted May 25, 2012, by james mccray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

It may be a small win in the fact that it is not a UCEB, but it is still a loss in the fact that the bridge could have been properly maintained over the years. Madison, IN is a historic town that is proud of its heritage, but it is ironic that such a town would not care for its historic bridge? Also, the situation could be a win-win if they are building the new truss bridge with the historic one still remaining as a pedestrian bridge.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted May 25, 2012, by James Simmons (james [at] simmons [dot] net)

I swear some of you guys just can't be pleased. The old bridge is far too narrow for modern traffic, not even mentioning the weight loads it can bear. So the new bridge will still be a gorgeous truss bridge. At least its not the UCEB it could've been. Seriously, its a win-win.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted April 24, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The project website claims the bridge will be shut down for 10 days total. So they apparently are blowing half of their days just to demo an approach span? FYI, back in the early 1900s, railroads measured closure time during bridge replacement projects in hours, not days. Also, enough of the replacement bridge has been built that you can see how plain and ugly it will be: http://www.miltonmadisonbridge.com/gallery/images/april-2012...

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted April 24, 2012, by MIKE WOOTEN (mwoot8 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The north and south aprroaches will begin demolation early Wednesday morning 4/25/12. Which will be the sart of the first week long closing.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted March 18, 2012, by Mark Gish (gishm [at] roadrunner [dot] com)

The 15 ton weight limit has now been lowered to 3 tons as the problems with the old bridge continue to mount. Law enforcement is enforcing the limit 24/7.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted October 31, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The only plaques on the bridge are tiny standard Mt. Vernon Bridge Co. plaques. http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/photos.php?br...

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted October 29, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The plaques (if any exist) are likely going to a local historical society.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted October 29, 2011, by J.P.

So talked to a crew worker who is building the new truss which you will see in the picture below, since no one took the bridge they have decided to implode it. It is expected to happen this spring, at one point the current bridge will close and the new bridge will be opened up on temp piers with weight limits still enforced I assume. Then the channel for barge traffic will be cleared and the new bridge slid on to the existing piers, and writing this my stomach got very upset. Me and Mr. McCray will be trying to get down there when the implosion happens. I also sent a request to Indot that if any builder plaques were on the bridge I would like to have the chance to remove them or have the construction crews remove them and I would be happy to pick them up. I was denied, Guess they promised the construction company some serious metal weight. :(

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted October 4, 2011, by J.P.

Bridge has survived in its current location for nearly 83 years, I still hold to the fact the bridge should be bypassed and instead of building false piers for the new bridge, build permanent ones and let the new bridge carry cars while the old one carries pedestrians, But sadly its already to far along for that, at least its still has a hope of reuse somewhere else. Though doubtful for such a large span.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted October 4, 2011, by Josh

Tear it down...it's old, obsolete, and crumbling. Every time i drive across it i get nervous...Madison should build a brand new, BEAUTIFULLY designed bridge.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted February 27, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

See below.....

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted February 27, 2011, by J.P.

work has began. :(

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 9, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)


There definitely is a passion on this site for who we are and what we believe in. I look forward to coming home every day and seeing new spans being added and what comments are posted on the forum. And when I say "new" I really mean "old".....not modern or "future" spans as we have unfortunately experienced lately. I feel a real connection with my fellow pontists who enjoy making this site better each and every day.

So with that I say........welcome to the club!, and feel free to e-mail me if I can answer any questions or help in any other way.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 9, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The new bridge will never make historic status if big changes aren't made in the way bridges are maintained. I truly believe had the old bridge been better cared for up till now, then we might have a different outcome. Yes it is still a narrow span, but it's appalling condition is the larger factor in it's demise.

I will hold my judgment on condemnation of the new bridge until I actually see it in place. That being said, nothing will be able to replace the historic bridge that should have been better cared for....and saved.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 9, 2010, by Matthew Lohry (matthewlohry [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Andy, I certainly understand your engineering way of thinking--I too graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and have gone through the exact same cirriculum. It certainly doesn't mean that I agree with all of it! :>) I design electrical transmission lines for a living, but I really enjoy our historic bridges, as I have for as long as I can remember. Welcome to the club!

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 9, 2010, by Andy

I am starting to see the passion you guys have for these historic bridges and their many details. After graduating in Civil Engineering and having dealt with design and cost everything is changed when something like history is involved. I can see where you are coming from and you are atarting to win me over.

I do have to say I enjoy searching almost daily on this site for something new and interesting and learning about these historic bridges.

Excellent work to everyone :)

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 9, 2010, by Matthew Lohry (matthewlohry [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Andy, I think that you are finding out the difference between the casual bridge observer and the vast majority of those who contribute to this website. Sure, I would much rather see a new truss bridge than a UCEB, but to me the unacceptable part of this whole idea, is that it is manifesting at the cost of the truly historic bridge. I have never seen a cantilever bridge that even comes close to the complexity and beauty of this bridge in terms of variation of span types, the use of lattice and V-lacing, and knowing that we will never see another design like this again. The historic and aesthetic value of a bridge goes far beyond the fact that it is a truss bridge. Let's face it, rolled I-beams are efficient only in the time that it takes to produce them, and no other factor. Built-up members that use V-lacing are lighter, use less metal, and do their job more efficiently than rolled I-beams. Plus, they just plain look a whole lot nicer and add interest and beauty to an already-complex truss. As more of these bridges are lost to new technology, the more amazing and intriguing the ones that are left appear to even the casual observer.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 9, 2010, by Andy

Unfortunatly, in the end everything comes down to the cost and life cycle. The temp piers are undoubtably designed only for the bridge dead load and are intended for fast construction to get the job done. Building a new bridge would require significantly more money for new river piers and a much long construction length.

Another note about money; building the new bridge down the river to handle the bridge traffic would destroy the economy in the area.

In the end engineering is a big give and take with and depending what side you're on you win or you lose but look on the bright side it could have turned out a lot worse.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 9, 2010, by Michael Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] odot [dot] state [dot] or [dot] us)

I have to say I agree with both Nathan and Andy on this bridge replacement. If you look at this structure from a pure bridge preservation perspective, Nathan has some very valid points about the loss of character from the old structure verses the new one. This is a very unique structure, not only for the historical details, but the differing span types and the shear size of the structure. These features would incline me to look towards preservation first when considering a project at this site.

However, judging by the new design, the public and the officials in charge must have cared deeply about the overall appearance of this structure. The design was thought out with the intent to replace this historic span with a similar design, though not a replica. I have to give them an A for effort on this replacement. You just don’t see many trusses built anymore let alone of this size.

While the new design does lack some of the historic charm of the current bridge, the overall sight lines are cleaner with the symmetrical truss design as oppose to the multiple span types of the old bridge. Plus, the new bridge will provide a safer crossing for both drivers and pedestrians with the wider travel lanes and sidewalks. I think Andy is correct in saying this will be a historic span of the future.

Like I said previously, my first choice would be to preserve the old bridge if practical or possibly add a second bridge near this crossing. I must say the new bridge will be a more than worthy modern replacement, though some of the historical charm will be lost. It could have been a lot worse. Imagine a post-tensioned box girder or even worse a series of pre-cast girders spans with a box main span.

Like this "beauty" from Klamath County, Oregon. Precast Slabs, Post-tensioned box girder, and Pre-stressed girders. The definition of an UCEB!

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 9, 2010, by J.P.

the love is in the design, the madison-milton in my opinion is what we call a Frankenstein bridge. It has several different bridges into one bridge. Making it a rare amazing bridge. The new bridge will look just like the I65 bridge aka a cookie cutter cantilevered bridge, by what i have been told. And yes it will probably be historic in 50 plus years, but it will never equal the value and beauty of the bridge that currently graces that city. Madison as a town that's claim to fame is history, should have taken the time to look for alternatives for the current bridge, such a greenway trail. As you said they are building temp piers for the current bridge, why not just build permanent piers and you have a bridge of historic value and a new bridge for heavier traffic.

with regards,


Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 9, 2010, by Andy

Jeez someones a debbie downer. Sounds to me like you don't care whether they put up a UCEB or the current design. Of course they're not going to rivet the entire bridge or lace every built up member it's a waste of time and money. That it where modern engineering has suceeded. Also, I would argue that more engineering has gone into the new bridge design which needs to be recognized. It's wider, has longer spans and carries pedestrian traffic. To the average person driving over the bridge they don't notice half of those things listed in your comparison. Also, the construction will someday be remember as historic. People who are still living in that area 50 years from now will say to each over, "Hey remember when they move that whole bridge from the temp piers onto the existing piers I'll never forget that". Sure we're losing a bridge and no it's not perfectly identical to the orginal but if I couldn't go see Lake Superior I would go see the Great Salt Lake over the retention pond down the road. It still has a great historic value. Where is the love?

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 8, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

People who think this replacement bridge is "almost identical" to the historic bridge need to consider my comparison here: http://www.historicbridges.org/kentucky/miltonmadison/chart_.... Realize that the historic bridge is noted for its unique combination of varying span types, designs, and configurations, while the replacement bridge will have spans that do not differ from one another. To say nothing how how plain and boring modern rolled beams look versus riveted built-up beams with beautiful v-lacing and lattice as seen on the historic bridge.

The new bridge and historic bridge are both a cantilever truss bridge. They have about as much in common as the Great Salt Lake in Utah has with Lake Superior. Both are described as lakes that are also "great" but aside from that how much do these two lakes really have in common? Not much, and neither do these bridges.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 8, 2010, by Mark Gish (gishm [at] roadrunner [dot] com)

The preliminary construction schedule has been released: The new bridge will be erected Sept 2011 to May 2012 on temporary piers downstream. The current bridge will be demolished with controlled explosives May to July 2012. After the strengthing the "old" piers is complete, the new bridge will be slid into final position Sept 2012.

Although I am very unhappy about demolishing such a unique and historic structure, at least the old gal will go out with a bang. I'll definately attend the funeral.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 3, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I think of it as a lose-win myself. There is no win in the loss of a historic bridge of this significance. But this bridge was "lost" many years ago when proper regular maintenance was not performed that has resulted in it's present state. The win, however small, is that it is being replaced with another truss bridge and not a slab or cable-stayed span. If the new bridge is not maintained any better than it's predecessor, then likely it won't last long enough to be considered historic.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 3, 2010, by Andy

My boss went and took pictures of this bridge so I don't have them but I want to throw in my 2 cents. I regret to inform that my company was given the subcontract to preform the demolition of this bridge. I feel though this will end up being a win-win. The existing river piers will be strengthened and reused, while the new brige is built alongside and then shifted over to minimize traffic closers. The new bridge will be an almost identical through truss and will surely be come an historic bridge that my kids and grandkids can enjoy. In the short term yes this will be a tradgic loss but long term I feel it will work out for the better

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted November 19, 2010, by Brad Smith (gaberdine [at] hotmail [dot] com)

There are three ways to look at this. One is they are getting rid of a historic bridge. It hurts especially when there are decent ways to economically reuse the existing structure such as build a parallel structure with additional capacity.

The second is that a poorly maintained narrow, low clearance bridge is being replaced. Some would argue that whatever the replacement good riddance. It is hard to defend a 20 to 24 foot bridge with a clearance of 14' or less.

The third way of looking at it is that they did not choose to replace it with a cable stayed, girder, or other modern bridge type. The fact is that there is a silhouette of the old bridge remaining. I saw a rant that said it was nothing like the old bridge. Sure, it isn't 20' wide with minimal clearance, but is could be worse, it could be a concrete deck bridge. This time the old bridge was not worth saving on site even for adaptive use. Had it been maintained years ago, perhaps.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted September 30, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

By the way, the Old Capilano Bridge that served as inspiration for this unusual method of wiping the nationally significant historic Milton Madison Bridge off the face of the earth is itself a historic bridge in British Columbia. I have information on the bridge here: http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/index.php?bri...

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted September 30, 2010, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

In the words of Gandalf ("The Return of the King--2003),"So it begins..."

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted September 30, 2010, by James Norwood

News from today about new details about construction, with the bridge only closed for 10 days. Story below.

This was also in the Logansport Pharos Tribune. Reminded me of when the old Wabash Railroad bridge over the Wabash River was replaced on the South channel on Logansport's Southside. Halverson Construction utilized a similiar method, described in the story below, to slide the old Through Truss over and align a new girder bridge. The old structure was cut up and removed later. Read more below.


Temporary bridge to limit closure to 10 days

Peggy Vlerebome

Courier Staff Writer

The Madison-Milton bridge will be closed only 10 days for replacement. A new bridge will be built nearby and used for traffic while the old bridge is removed from the piers.

The new bridge then will be slid on steel rails and steel plates onto the existing piers, which will have been made larger ahead of time.

The location of the temporary bridge, which would have temporary approaches on both sides, has not been determined, said Will Wingfield, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation. Wingfield said it is too early to say how the temporary bridge will be supported.

Traffic is expected to begin using the new permanent bridge by Sept. 15, 2012, a little less than two years from now, he said. That would make it "the fastest bridge ever to be built over the Ohio River," a press release from the state said.

The roll-it technique - called lateral truss sliding - has been done before, though not often. Wingfield called it "an engineering feat."

Buckland & Taylor Ltd. of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, one of the firms on the team that won the contract to replace the Madison-Milton bridge, designed a bridge in its hometown where a similar technique was used with the Old Capilano Bridge.

There, an existing bridge was rolled to a nearby, prepared spot so a new bridge could be built in the vacated location. Traffic uses the relocated bridge while the new bridge is being constructed.

The move took only six hours. There is a time-lapse video of the move on You Tube with a link at www.madisoncourier.com.

The 10 days of closure might not all be at the same time, Wingfield said.

Wingfield said INDOT will talk to Indiana and Kentucky officials about whether there still will be a need for a ferry service between Madison and Milton, Ky., on the 10 days when there will be no way to cross the Ohio River between Madison and Milton.

One of the promises that the bidders had to agree to was that a two-ferry service would be provided free to motorists around the clock while the bridge was closed. The preliminary cost estimate for the ferry service operating for a year was $5 million, and it would require landing docks on both sides of the river.

The press release announcing the winning bidder and the method it will use said the construction plans "will be reviewed and approved prior to construction to ensure they adhere to modern safety standards."

The short closure and the lowest bid combined to make Walsh Construction Co. of La Porte the winning bidder. In addition to Buckland & Taylor, the team includes Burgess & Niple Engineers of Columbus, Ohio. The winning bid was for $103 million, which was $28 million less than had been estimated before bids were sought..

INDOT awarded the contract and announced it Tuesday.

The other teams that bid on the project said in their bids that the bridge would have to be closed for 365 days. They were given a bidding disadvantage and Walsh was given an advantage based on the length of the closure.

Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong said news of the short closure was "like Christmas in September."

Consultants had estimated that more than 800 jobs could be lost and the economies on both sides of the river could lose up to a a total of $62.9 million if the bridge was closed for a year and there was no ferry service. With a ferry service, consultants had estimated, 172 jobs could be saved and the economic loss could be reduced to $9.9 million at the most.

"I'm happy," Armstrong said.

His counterpart across the river, Milton Mayor Denny Jackson, was skeptical at first, but still felt that the new time-frame would be beneficial.

"That really surprises me," Jackson said. "I've never heard of a bridge put together in 10 days. But I'm not a mechanic or engineer. If that's all the longer it's going to be closed, that'll be great."

Corey Murphy, executive director of Economic Development Partners of Jefferson County, reacted with a sound something like "Woo-hoo," and said it was good news.

Randy Stevens, judge-executive in Trimble County, Ky., said he was "flying on top of the clouds" after he heard the news.

"The winning bid and proposal is something to be excited about," Stevens said. "Ten days of closure. I think that takes it down to a minor inconvenience."

Stevens said he had had concerns with the original plan to close the bridge for a year. He felt that the small businesses on both sides of the river would be impacted and the consequences on commuters would be "devastating."

Carroll County, Ky., Judge-Executive Harold "Shorty" Tomlinson was excited about the shortened closure.

"If it'll work, it certainly sounds encouraging to me," he said. But Tomlinson said the effort would be a hardship for anyone involved. He also said this would be "good for everyone who commutes back and forth" between Kentucky and Indiana. Consultants have estimated that 11,000 people use the bridge a day.

When Jefferson County Commission President Tom Pietrykowski was told of the 10-day closing plan, he said, "That would be cool. That would be great. That would be incredible."

State Rep. Dave Cheatham was somewhat skeptical.

"I think if it can be done ... it will be a wonderful thing," said Cheatham, D-North Vernon, whose House district includes Jefferson County. "It's common sense (that) we first need to make sure of the safety aspects of it.

"I went to many hours of meetings with Wilbur Smith and Associates (the firm hired by Kentucky to do the preliminary design and groundwork). This option was never mentioned by the design engineers who worked on this project. ...The reason we need a new bridge is the one we have isn't safe. The new one - we have make sure it is safe."

A $20 million federal Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery grant was given toward the $131 million cost of the bridge replacement, which was far less federal money than had been requested. The two states agreed to split the remaining cost of the two-state project.

When the most recent drive for a new bridge began, Kentucky was the lead state for the cooperative effort, but announcements were made jointly by the two states. After the preliminary work was done and the project moved toward the bid and construct stages, Indiana became the lead state.

A press release Tuesday announcing the winning bidder and details about the way the project will be done, however, attributed the announcement only to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, and the only mention of Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear was in a quote from Daniels near the bottom of the press release. "Governor Beshear and the Kentucky Department of Transportation staff are great partners, and we appreciate the Federal Highway Administration support for this project," Daniels said in the press release.

• Madison Courier staff writer Evan Shields contributed to this story.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted June 17, 2010, by News

From the Louisville Courier-Journal: 6/17/10

The U.S. Department of Transportation has given final approval for construction to begin on a $130 million project to replace the deteriorating bridge connecting Madison, Ind., with Milton, Ky., along U.S. 421.

The federal agency on Thursday finalized a $20 million federal stimulus grant awarded in February by signing the grant agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation. The two states will provide the balance of the funding.

A 15-ton weight limit was placed on the bridge last year after inspectors found what they called advanced deterioration in the span built in 1929. About 10,700 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said in a news release, "Replacing this bridge has been a top priority." The existing steel superstructure of the bridge will be removed and a new bridge will then be built over the existing piers. Bicycle and pedestrian access are included in the plan.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted June 17, 2010, by Clark (jcembree [at] gmail [dot] com)

from the bridge website: In the last half of 2010, INDOT anticipates letting a contract to construct a new superstructure for the Ohio River Bridge connecting Madison, Indiana and Milton, Kentucky. As part of this contract, the Bridge will be allowed to be closed for up to 365 days requiring ferry service during the closure.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted June 3, 2010, by J.P.

i live about an hour from this bridge, but I'm waiting for the bridge to be closed before i walk across it. Just due to the fact the bridge is extremely narrow. But if you could find some steel stamps and maybe a plaque. that would be awesome. I'm still mad about the fact that the bridge is slated for demolition. But Indiana has placed it on its reuse list, were people can reuse the bridge. no idea were you would put this bridge. though it would make a great trail bridge across the Ohio river.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted June 3, 2010, by D. W. Adams (weetbixmarmite [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I usually wait until after I visit a bridge to discuss it, unless I have or need some information on it. In this case, it's both. I'm visiting this bridge this summer, likely my only chance ever, and I want to make it count. Also, I've been looking at the pictures, and it's quite a peculiar design.

By the time this bridge was built, the Warren truss had become the most popular design for long highway bridges, but the designer here almost seems to have tried to avoid using it, save for possibly four panels near the north end. The three main spans have span types in an arrangement I've never seen before. I see a large Baltimore truss span (a design well past its heyday), onto which a Pratt cantilever arm is hung at each each end. From there, it gets complicated. To the south, suspended from the cantilever arm is a Pratt arm which is supported on a pier at its south end. To the north, another Pratt span appears to be suspended from that cantilever arm and another short cantilever arm on the next pier, which appears to be anchored by an arm that can't decide whether it wants to be Pratt, K, or Warren truss. The last span of the through truss is a simple five-panel Pratt, which is followed by three spans of Pratt deck truss.

I'm planning to visit this and several other notable through-truss bridges in western Kentucky later this month, and this is probably the one I'll spend the most time and film on. I'll probably have to cross it several times to get what I want, both from the ground and from the bridge itself. So here's what I want to ask: Are there any particular shots I should try to get that haven't been gotten yet before it's too late? I mean, anything that's not going to get police involved or require a boat or plane?

And finally, I have seen the renderings of the new bridge. While I'm very pleased that they have chosen a steel through-truss bridge (Kentucky is one of the few states still excited about those, in strong contrast with their neighbor to the south), I am somewhat sad that it comes at the cost of the unique arrangement and types of the existing structure. I will say, however, that the new bridge is extremely reminiscent of the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge that I had the pleasure of walking across earlier this year, with its long, multiple-span Warren truss and the sidewalk on the side (the M&A has two). A pleasant difference, however, is that this one will have shoulders!

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted March 2, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This is one of the most unusual and important remaining cantilever bridges on the Ohio River. The planned demolition of this bridge is needless and pointless, and represents a significant failure of surface transportation policy. Further, I am disappointed that Madison, Indiana who touts itself as a destination for heritage tourism did not vocally fought to save this bridge. I have reviewed the inspection files and there is nothing irreparable in this bridge. Appropriate solutions would have been rehab for continued use and/or construction of a new bridge at a completely different location to form a truck route to relieve traffic on the narrow historic bridge. Actually a crossing some distance to the east at Carrollton, KY would have been a good investment because it would allow for a closer tie in to I-71 using KY-227. More costly, yes, but this would create additional crossings, relieve traffic congestion, and make travel more convenient.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted March 2, 2010, by J.P.

im sad this bridge has been slated for demolition. And looks like it will be replaced by a modern cantilevered bridge. The dates are still in flux. but at this moment if the funds were approved the bridge would be closed starting 2011. and opened 2012 with the new truss. My heart is deeply saddened by this bridges removal.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted February 18, 2010, by Barry (barryglot [at] gmail [dot] com)
Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted October 31, 2009, by Don

I noticed that picture I posted on March 20, 2009 isn't even on google streetview anymore. It skips right over it like they edited that one picture out. Lol, good thing I saved it.

Milton-Madison Bridge
Posted September 27, 2009, by Anonymous

It is obvious that the new bridge needs a name other than Milton-Madison so the people in Indiana may get it right. I suggest the Abraham Lincoln Bridge since Lincoln lived both in Kentucky and Indiana.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted September 18, 2009, by Don

Here are some close up pictures of some of the deterioration on the bridge. These were taken very recently. I don't think I'll be crossing that bridge again. I don't cross it very often but when I do I think I'll be taking the Markland Dam. I'd rather drive a few extra miles than risk my life. You can view more information about the bridge inspection and replacement at http://www.miltonmadisonbridge.com/news-center.aspx

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted September 3, 2009, by Anonymous

The bridge is owned by Kentucky. That's why the name is Milton Madison.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted May 5, 2009, by LBW (lbw1 [at] indy [dot] net)

The progress of the Milton-Madison Bridge Project can now be followed at www.miltonmadisonbridge.com.

I'm no expert, but it seems to me the logical choice for the site of the new bridge would be on the same site as the old bridge. A new bridge superstructure and butressed piers will cost taxpayers enough as it is without having to design and build new approaches on both sides of the river as well. Just an opinion, of course.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted March 20, 2009, by Don

Lol, check out this picture on Google street view. That guy is insane!

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted March 19, 2009, by Don

The bridge will soon have a 15 ton weight restriction. There is some interesting information on the website.

"Why is the weight limit posting necessary?

There are several fracture critical members suffering from significant section loss or

cracking. This has compromised their strength. By removing the large trucks on the

bridge we reduce the stress levels on these members."

Is the bridge safe for passenger vehicles?

We believe the bridge to be safe for cars and box trucks. Otherwise the bridge would be

closed. The posted limit has the effect of restricting commercial vehicle traffic such as

tractor-trailers and dump trucks from the bridge.

Yikes, I don''t cross that often but if I do I think I'll use the Markland Dam. They "believe" the bridge is safe, did they just clap their hands together three times and say "I believe!"? I know if you have to cross everyday that isn't a great option since it's 26 miles away.

Milton-Madison Bridge
Posted March 19, 2009, by Anonymous

The correct name of this bridge is the Milton-Madison bridge.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted February 24, 2009, by Don

Information about replacing the bridge can be found here


Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted February 23, 2009, by Tom Woodburn (twoodburn [at] earthlink [dot] net)

Is there or was there a sister bridge to the Madison Milton bridge across the Ohio River?

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted February 3, 2009, by Don

Bridge is currently down to one lane while crews gather core samples.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted December 10, 2008, by Don (sega65 [at] gmail [dot] com)

You are now able to travel this bridge via google streetview!

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted September 15, 2008, by Don

Went by the bridge on September 15th and it was as open as ever. Must not have been closed long.

Madison-Milton Bridge CLOSED
Posted September 15, 2008, by Don

As of September 14th the bridge is closed to traffic as a precaution due to reports that pieces of concrete were blown off by the recent wind storms. It will remain closed until the Transportation Cabinet can inspect it and declare it safe.

Here is a link to the news story about it


Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted September 14, 2008, by Don

As of September 14th this bridge is closed due to reports of concrete being blown off by the recent wind storm. It will be closed until it can be inspected and declared safe.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted August 5, 2008, by Calavera

Here are a couple of very interesting historical pictures of the bridge. The first one is construction of the bridge in 1928. The second picture is the from the first year the bridge was opened in 1929. Some interesting facts, the first person to cross the bridge was an 11 year old boy on a bicycle. The first vehicle to cross was a greyhound bus.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted May 1, 2008, by J Blakeslee

No pedestrians are allowed on this bridge.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted August 15, 2007, by LBW

State and Federal Governments constantly argue over where the funding of such projects should originate. But one can rest assured that if the bridge were to be suddenly rendered unusable - or collapse, God forbid, funding would somehow be found to replace it immediately. Why doesn't the State of Kentucky simply float a 20-30 year bond for their portion of the cost to replace the bridge, and the recover the cost by assessing tolls from those who use it, much like they did when the bridge was first erected?

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted August 3, 2007, by Anonymous

In 2008-2009 this bridge will be 80 yrs old. It has a rating of 40.10 that is totally unacceptable. It's frightening that every day hundreds of cars cross this bridge and it is deemed to be that unsafe.

I fortunatly do no have to cross this bridge very often except to visit family, but every time I do my heart is in my throat wondering if it will collaspe like the Silver Bridge did into the Ohio River in 1967 or the Minn. bridge did on Aug 1st 2007 into the Mississippi River.

What does it take to replace this bridge?? The thing falling in like the Silver Bridge or the Minn. one with dozens of people hurt & killed??? I blame this on the Govenor of both IN & KY, the state DOT in both state and any one else who is blocking the replacement of this bridge. If it falls in, any one who is killed, their blood is on your hands.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted August 3, 2007, by deb (debee13 [at] aol [dot] com)

I live in Madison,have all my life, This bridge is so unsafe,Our Mayor has been trying forever to get a new one started but this belongs to Kentucky and they say there is no money available, a group of kids did a report on it 2 yrs ago took pictures of the rusted out bolts and beams on this thing when traffic crosses it you can see them wiggle back and forth, Why cant we get something done before we end up like those poor people in Minnesota? Kentucky says they will put it in a 10yr plan.Please help us this is the only bridge that crosses the river for a 40 mile stretch in either direction it was built in 1928-29 not built for all the heavy traffic it carries everyday.

Madison-Milton Bridge
Posted August 18, 2006, by Mark Gish (mgish [at] seidata [dot] com)

As of Aug 2006, Indiana and Kentucky have funded the environmental and engineering studies to begin the process of replacing this bridge with a modern structure. Location, design and cost for the new bridge may be shaping up to be a bone of contention. The fate of the current structure is also in question. Some interest in converting it to a pedestrian bridge has been expressed.