A pile driving rig stands Wednesday near the site of Pier 22 under the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge as officials get the bridge repairs up and running. / Jim Matthews/Press- Gazette Media
ASHWAUBENON — Work is on schedule three days into the construction of supports for part of the sagging Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay, officials said Wednesday.
Construction crews started building support trusses for the bridge Monday. The steel structures are designed to help stabilize the bridge around Pier 22, a support on the bridge that sank late last month.
“The contractors are on schedule as far as preparing the site for the temporary shoring towers and we anticipate to continuing to work through the week and possibly into Saturday to get the foundation work done,” said Bruce Enke, technical services chief with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s northeast region. “The contractor is also working at two of their fabrication yards to get the vertical towers and horizontal trusses fabricated so they can be brought to the site starting sometime next week.”
The towers are expected to be finished early next month and cost between $1.5 million and $2 million. Early cost estimates on overall bridge repair have been put at $50 million.
The towers “will keep the driving surface in place, so it’s going to take some of the weight off Pier 22,” he said. “Hopefully it will reduce, or eliminate, settlement.”
Pier 22 sank about 2 feet on Sept. 25, forcing closure of the bridge that carried about 40,000 cars a day over the Fox River on Interstate 43.
The DOT said the preliminary investigation points to buckling of the steel supports below the concrete pier caused by corrosion from water and soil properties around that section of the bridge. A handful of nearby supports also showed corrosion, but not as serious as that found on Pier 22.
The department has spent recent weeks checking the condition of other supports on the span. It does not believe the bridge is at risk to collapse.
Pier 22 has sunk an additional ¾ of an inch since the initial event last month but no additional movement has been detected, Enke told reporters on Wednesday.
He expects the department will talk about plans for bridge repair within the next few weeks.
“It’s going to be a repair,” Enke said.
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