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Planning the Future

INDOT, engineers give community a look at routes for bridge approach

Next meeting will offer the public
a look at route choices

(January 2016) – A large group of local citizens in Madison, Ind., attended a Dec. 3 public information meeting at Clifty Inn’s Overlook Room on Project 421 – the study of the half-mile section of U.S. Route 421 through Madison, Ind., that approaches the Milton-Madison Bridge. The meeting was hosted by the Indiana Department of Transportation, which is gathering public input on the plan.
In addition to INDOT representatives, employees from Crawford, Murphy & Tilly engineering firm helped guide the meeting by providing information about proposed routes being studied. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the community of the scope and schedule of the study, solicit input from the community and proactively engage residents. The purpose of this project is to select a route that best addresses the safety concerns, mobility challenges and economic development needs of Madison.

Photo by Don Ward

Project 421’s Project Manager Adam Burns (left) of Crawford, Murphy & Tilly discusses proposed routes with members of the community Dec. 3 at Madison’s Clifty Inn.

A Community Advisory Committee of about 15 people was formed to help guide input for the project, according to Project Manager Adam Burns of Crawford, Murphy & Tilley. The committee includes representatives from various segments of the community, such as economic development, historic preservation, city and county government.
Burns said the next meeting will likely take place in late January or early February at which point the public will be invited to view various alternate routes developed from the input gathered.
INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity said, “This is only the beginning of the conversation about this project. It’s important to hear from community residents because we want to see what they’re seeing and understand their concerns so we can bring it all together in consensus for moving forward.”
Whitney Carlin, who is the lead on the project for INDOT, said, “I’m very impressed with the commitment of the people in this community who have taken interest in this project. No idea is off the table – that’s why we’re here – to learn.”

Photo by Don Ward

Madison Mayor Damon Welch and his wife, Ginny, explore some of the maps of proposed routes for the future bridge approach in Madison.

Andrew Forrester, Community Relations Manager for the City of Madison, said he was “very pleased” with the turnout of local citizens to view maps of proposed routes being considered. “We want this to be a totally open process where people have plenty of opportunity to voice their opinions,” he said.
The current alignment routes nearly 11,500 vehicles on U.S. 421 through a portion of Madison’s National Historic Landmark District, causing traffic backups, safety concerns and negative environmental impacts, according to the Project 421 website. In addition to traffic route alternatives, Project 421 will evaluate pedestrian and bicycle movement through Madison, ensuring access is maintained to the Milton-Madison Bridge.
The project is currently in its first phase, which includes preliminary engineering, alternative analysis, utility coordination, property title research, environmental survey and topographical survey. By November 2016, INDOT will identify the preferred alternative for U.S. 421 to join Main Street from the bridge.
During the first phase, INDOT will follow guidelines of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which calls for examining potential impacts to historic properties in and around the project area.
The second phase, beginning in late 2016 to 2018, will involve developing detailed design, including right-of-way acquisition, and developing final design and construction plans.
Actual construction would not begin until sometime in 2019, with completion expected in 2020.
The new Milton-Madison Bridge opened to traffic in April 2014. This half-mile truss superstructure is the longest bridge in North America to be slid laterally into place. It includes two 12-foot lanes and eight-foot shoulders. It also includes a cantilevered sidewalk on the downstream side.
While the new bridge was a joint effort between INDOT and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, INDOT has sole jurisdiction over the project on Hwy. 421 in Madison.

More information is available online at the project website www.project421.com.

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