GREEN BAY - The Leo Frigo Bridge passed its last inspection in 2012. While the report details some minor cracking on the bridge support, there were no significant issues found.
But the lead bridge engineer for the Wisconsin DOT says inspectors would not necessarily see signs of settling.
"The only way to know that is to see something visually during the inspection," said Dale Weber from the DOT. "If we got down there during the inspection and noticed something moving down below the footing area, yes, we would've definitely looking into it closer."
Weber says the concrete pier settled more than two feet. The settling was obvious as crews examined the six-foot concrete footing at the base of the pier.
The pier is supported by 40 pilings that go down about 100 feet.
When asked by FOX 11 if something must have happened underground to the support system, Weber replied, "At this point, it points toward that situation because it settled. So something below the footing has happened from what we can tell."
UW-Green Bay geoscientist John Luczaj says the bedrock in that area is about 100 to 130 feet below the surface.
The DOT is investigating to see whether the pilings on this support go down to the bedrock.
Luczaj says it's too early to know exactly what caused the support to settle.
"At the end of the day it's an engineering problem probably brought about by something geological but we don't know that," Luczaj said. "We don't know if it was poor materials, maybe someone didn't do what they were supposed to do. Hopefully a good investigation will figure out what happened."
The DOT says that investigation will take time and will include an inspection of every support on the bridge.
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