GREEN BAY - Wisconsin Department of Transportation crews continued working Saturday at the Leo Frigo Bridge.
They are using new tools to learn more about the current condition of the section of bridge that sunk Wednesday morning.
DOT spokesperson Kim Rudat said crews began working underneath the bridge at 7 a.m. on Saturday. They planned to stay until dark.
"We don't know our next step until we finish the step that we're in," Rudat said.
Rudat said crews were taking soil samples.
"They're also doing some boring next to one of the piers that are unaffected. We have a safe zone out there, and we've established that, and now we are determining when we can move into Pier 22 and start to take a look at that directly. We have to make sure that things are safe for that," he said.
Transportation officials shut down the bridge early Wednesday morning due to a two-foot dip in one section. The bridge's closure was declared a disaster by Gov. Scott Walker on Friday.
On Saturday evening, crews planned to install accelerometers and tiltometers on the bridge. Those tools are designed to detect any kind of motion in the sunken pier. Since Wednesday there has been no indication of further movement.
Rudat said DOT crews are joined by their consultants and workers from Brown County and the Federal Highway Administration. More DOT staff is working behind the scenes, looking at surveying and engineering records.
"We'll continue until we have an answer as to what caused this and then we'll determine a fix. We will not speculate on the time that this is going to take," Rudat said.
While no cars can travel on the bridge, the water underneath is open to boats. The damage isn't keeping Todd Tiesling and his boat away.
"We knew that the span sag was onshore," he said.
Tiesling looked at the damage from the water on Friday.
"We were just looking at the piers, and to see if we could see anything of where the bridge was sagging," he said. "You could definitely see the section that was sagging. The amount of travel that it actually went down into the earth was pretty prevalent from the water."
Crews plan to return to the bridge site early Sunday morning and work again until dark. The DOT reminds the public to stay away from the bridge.
DOT officials said they realize the hassle the damage is causing drivers and added that they are trying to expedite the investigation process. They said, through the weekend, they are making no changes to their recommended detour routes and signage. Traffic patterns will be evaluated and discussed by DOT staff members on Monday morning.
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