Tom Warne Report, 29 October 2013
Transportation officials in Wisconsin say a plan is in place to repair a Green Bay I-43 bridge over the Fox River that began sagging last month. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has hired a contractor and hopes it will have the Leo Frigo Bridge repairs completed by the end of January. Investigators are still looking into the cause of the pier settling on the east side that resulted in a 400-foot cross section of the bridge to sag.
Wisconsin DOT spokesman Kim Rudat said the settled pier, number 22, is structurally stable in spite of the fact that it is now a few feet lower than the other piers. Repairs will include putting a cap on top of Pier 22 to align the fixed bridge deck with the other piers.
“While the rest of the piers will all be at a certain height, Pier 22 will for the rest of its service life be two feet below the rest with a bigger cap on top of it holding up the bridge,” Rudat said. WISDOT included incentives for the contractor to finish by the end of January.
The Leo Frigo Bridge was built in 1980 and was not considered structurally deficient at the last inspection in August 2012.
With all we put into foundation design, it is hard to imagine a pier just settling, for no apparent reason, especially two feet overnight. Sounds like they have a good fix to get traffic moving again, which is real important, but, leaves us all wondering, what happened? JN