State transportation officials are giving a better picture of the magnitude involving the repairs for the I-43 Leo Frigo Memoiral Bridge. Stabilization efforts involving pier 22 got underway this week. The underground steel pilings of pier 22 buckled due to corrosion and the chemical make-up of the soil on the surface.
The bridge was closed in late September because the span dipped. New steel pilings are being driven for the construction of two supporting towers. Bridge Repair Project Technical Service Chief Bruce Enke said on Wednesday that the foundations of seven piers, 19 through 25, will need to be retrofitted and replaced.
Testing found the soil composition around those piers is similar to that of pier 22. Soil boring and testing continued Wednesday around piers in the Fox River. Enke couldn’t say at this point if the industrial fill dirt and soil on the eastern span would have to be removed.
It will be a couple more weeks before the plan is unveiled regarding a permanent fix for the unique bridge problem. Enke said consultants around the country are looking at the issue and developing solutions.