State transportation officials say the foundations of seven piers need to be replaced at the I-43 Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay. Stabilization efforts are ongoing involving pier 22, but the magnitude of necessary repair work is becoming more clear.
The Interstate 43 bridge over the Fox River was closed three weeks ago, when it sagged two feet because of a drop in one of the 51 piers that support the high-rise structure. Department of Transportation engineers had said the underground steel pilings for pier 22 buckled as a result of corrosion and the chemical make-up of the soil. New steel pilings are being driven for the construction of two supporting towers.
Bridge Repair Project Technical Service Chief Bruce Enke says, “So far construction activities are not having any impact or effect on pier 22.”
Officials at the DOT are saying new tests have shown that the soil composition of six adjacent piers — 19 through 25 — is similar to that of the one which sank and will need to be replaced. The piers themselves are fine. The tests were completed as crews work to install two truss supports to prevent the bridge from sagging any further.
AUDIO: Chief Bruce Enke says the soil composition around piers 19 through 25 is similar to the corrosive soil found around pier 22 that buckled. :14
A permanent repair plan for the Frigo bridge is expected in at least a couple weeks. “There’s a lot of work being done in various consulting offices throughout the United States,” says Enke.
The bridge will be closed for at least several months, until all the repairs are made.
Thanks to Terry Lee, WTAQ