By BRADEN LAMMERS
Work on the downtown portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project reached a milestone today.
Two footers that will connect four piers on what will be the bridge tower closest to the Indiana shoreline in Jeffersonville peeked above the water.
Passers-by will notice a yellow tub surrounding two concrete piers that have been drilled into the riverbed. The tub itself is a 240,000 pound mold that has a precast concrete floor, it is 61 feet long and 22 feet wide.
On tower No. 5 — the tower closest to the Indiana shoreline — the western most tub is in place and the eastern tub was being put in place today. Once the tubs are set construction crews will grout, with concrete, around the precast concrete floor of the tub and the two piers. The concrete is allowed to set up and the water is pumped out of the footer. The next step is to pour a 24-inch thick reinforced concrete seal in the bottom of the footer. The form is then filled with reinforcing steel and filled with concrete, creating the waterline footing for what will become one of the bridge towers.
The lower cross beam that will connect the two footings, creating a leg pedestal for the bridge, is expected to be poured this winter, according to a news release. The tower No. 5 leg sections that will extend above the Ohio River and bracket the new roadway are expected to be poured in the spring.
Officials today said the new northbound Interstate 65 bridge is on track for its April 2016 completion date. Once the northbound bridge is completed all traffic will be transferred onto the new bridge while repairs and redecking of the Kennedy Bridge takes place to convert it into a southbound only structure.
The downtown portion of the bridges project is expected to be completed in October 2016.
Check tomorrow's News and Tribune and newsandtribune.com for updates to this story.