sites for Milton-Madison
bridge discussed at meeting
firm Wilbur Smith
to conduct three year study
(December 2008) A citizens advisory
group, led by a team of design consultants, met Nov. 13 to devise a
strategy for formulating and presenting measurable evidence
to support the need for a new bridge to span the Ohio River between
Milton, Ky., and Madison, Ind. It was the second such meeting of the
newly formed Public Advisory Group, comprised of civic and governmental
leaders from both sides of the river.
During the meeting, held at the Milton Elementary School, consultants
from Wilbur Smith Associates of Lexington, Ky., presented several possible
locations for a future bridge. No decision has been made on the location,
if and when the money is found to build the bridge.
by Konnie McCollum
Carr, vice president of the
Kentucky division of Wilbur Smith
Associates, facilitated the meeting
for the bridge advisory group.
We are gathering all the data, looking at every
alternative for the project, said Tim Sorenson of Wilbur Smith
Associates, which is conducting the three-year, $5 million engineering,
design and environmental study. We will screen them down to the
Already, consultants have dismissed the idea of a tunnel under the river
because it would be too costly. A ferry service, he said, could not
accommodate all of the community needs.
Sorenson said there are several alternatives left, including doing nothing,
which was also dismissed. Another rehabilitation, a superstructure replacement
or a new bridge at a new location were the remaining options.
Officials from the Kentucky Department of Transportation, including
District 5 Public Information Officer Andrea Clifford, and Indiana Department
of Transportation officials, including Seymour District spokesman Marvin
Jenkins, participated in the meeting.
Community residents were encouraged to attend and observe the meeting,
which did include two brief public comment periods. Anyone who wished
to speak had to sign up prior to the meeting. The first informational
meeting for the general public will be held on Feb. 12, 2009. The location
will be announced at a later date. The next meeting for project members
will be at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 9 in Madison. A location has not been announced.
Project participants were given a project overview at the groups
initial meeting on Oct. 9 at the Brown Gym in Madison. At the November
meeting in Milton, the desired outcome of the project was discussed,
as was a brief discussion on the condition of the bridge, and daily
traffic counts and crash reports. John Carr, vice president of the Kentucky
division of Wilbur Smith Associates, facilitated the meeting.
While some things seem obvious to those of you who use the bridge,
there must be evidence to move forward, said Kentucky Transportation
Cabinets John Mettille. The need must be measurable.
Advisory Group members:
County, Ind.: In addition to Corey Murphy of Economic Development
Partners of Jefferson County; Ann Grahn, citizens representative;
John Stacier, executive director of Historic Madison Inc.; Larry
DeBuhr, executive director of the Rivers Institute at Hanover
College; Randy Eggenspiller, City Engineer for Madison Department
of Public Works; Carla Goins, citizen representative; Warren Auxier
of Auxier Gas; Bob McKinney of Dow Corning Corp; David Pennybaker
of Indiand-Kentucky Electric Corp; Dave Bell of Jefferson County
Emergency Management, Roger Allman, CEO of Kings Daughters
Hospital & Health Services; Rick Lostutter, president of the
Madison Area Bicycle Club; Kevin Watkins, Madison Area Chamber
of Commerce; Jim Juricic, citizen representative; Sue Fisher,
Madison Regatta. From Trimble County, Ky.: Ronnie
Barnes, chief of Milton Fire and Rescue, Capt. Robert Nolan, Inland
Marine Service; Neil Bryan, president of Farmers Bank of Milton;
Nolan Hamilton, Magistrate of Trimble County Fiscal Court; Peter
Woodburn, of Woodburn, Kyle and Co.; and Kenny McCoy, owner of
Riverside Produce; Jim Overton, Overton Farms
Safety was a concern voiced by Ronnie Barnes, chief for
Milton Fire and Rescue. The movement of emergency vehicles such
as an ambulance across the bridge during an emergency is a huge concern,
particularly if the bridge is not functioning properly.
Citizen representative Ann Grahn of Madison said the bridge is key to
economic development in the area. Corey Murphy, executive director of
Economic Development Partners of Jefferson County, also voiced concerns
that the economic survival of the area is linked to the bridge.
The bridge is an economic lifeline, he said. Business
vitality depends on that bridge.
Other project members voiced concerns about the narrowness of the lanes,
the reliability of the bridge, the approaches and its historic qualities.
Project members also discussed what they thought would make the project
successful. Building the bridge tomorrow was the general
consensus. Sensitivity to businesses and homes in the communities, and
the historic legacy were discussed. A project that doesnt put
communities on hold and a bridge built for the long term with a low
maintenance budget were also discussed.
The appearance and affordability of the bridge were addressed, and project
members agreed that the bridge design should show community pride yet
The possible location of a future bridge will be the focus of a future
meeting in 2009, consultants said.
Several locations were suggested for possible locations, including a
future hilltop to hilltop connection from Milton to Madison. Historic
Madison Inc.s Heidi Valco Kruggel suggested a bridge just east
of the existing location that would connect Indiana Hwy. 56 to U.S.
Hwy. 421-KY 36. That location would require a loop around to connect
to Hwy. 56, much like the Markland Dam does in Switzerland County, Ind.
Another location suggested was to connect the bridge on the Madison
side to Jefferson Street because the approach would be straight, and
lead right to U.S. Hwy. 421 in Indiana. A map will be drawn for project
members with those possible locations and others that people may suggest
in the future. Nothing definite about the location will be decided for
Project members were chosen by community leaders and project managers.
These people represent project stakeholders, such as property and business
owners, and local interest groups. Project members are responsible for
relaying project information back to the groups they represent.
A varied mix of community members on both sides of the Ohio River is
included in the group (see box).
For more information about the project,
Back to December 2008