(Madison, Ind.) – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood this morning joined Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear along with Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong and Milton Mayor Denny Jackson and others from the two states to celebrate the start of the Milton-Madison Bridge Project.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood
(left) joined Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear at the ground-
breaking of the new Madison-Milton bridge
Rain did not dampen the ceremony as the celebration was moved to the Brown Gym.
The new bridge will replace the structure that has provided nearly 11,000 vehicles a day between the states since 1929.
The $103 million dollar bridge is scheduled to be completed by September 15, 2012.
“This is a project the community has been seeking for decades and I’m really proud of both states for providing not just a way to get it done, but in such an ingenious way,” Daniels said. “It will be done years ahead of schedule and less expensively than previously thought. And the best thing for the towns on both sides of the river is that traffic will be disrupted for less than two weeks rather than a year.”
“A bridge, by definition, transcends an obstacle that would otherwise divide people, communities – even entire states,” said Beshear. “It was a great day 81 years ago when the current Milton-Madison Bridge was opened, and the obstacle of a great river was overcome. This is another great day as we break ground for a new bridge that will serve both our states for generations to come.”
LaHood credited White House policies for helping make the new bridge possible. It is partly funded by a $20 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The aging Madison-Milton Bridge over the
“Recovery Act dollars are creating jobs and delivering projects to meet the needs of communities all around the country,” said LaHood. “The new Milton-Madison Bridge will restore full service on a critical link between Kentucky and Indiana, improving the quality of life for area residents.”
The bridge project celebration continues Tuesday evening at the Ohio Theater from 7:00 to 9:00 with the showing of the 1929 bridge ceremony along with clips from the bicentennial and today’s ground breaking ceremony.
Wednesday night from 5:00 to 9:00 the Madison City Hall will have a open house for the public to and see the project and talk with project officials.
Larry Duke contributed to this story.