GREEN BAY - With an average of 40,000 cars going over it each day, state and regional traffic officials realize how important it is to repair the Leo Frigo Bridge.
“This is a significant incident, so it's going to be something that is going to take us some time to both investigate and ultimately to solve,” said Mark Gottlieb, the state Transportation Secretary.
Right now, crews are trying to identify the scope of the problem. From there they will determine the best way to repair it.
“One of the questions could be has this happened to other bridges similar, not that I know of, we're obviously still researching into that,” said Kim Rudat, a DOT regional communication manager.
The focus right now is Pier 22 of the bridge. A picture of the base of the pier shows where the DOT says it settled two feet overnight, causing part of the bridge to sag.
“It happened in a short period of time,” said Dale Weber, the lead engineer for the bridge. “We're thinking somewhere between 9:00 last night and 4:45 when it was reported. Somewhere in that area.”
Crews are taking readings at each pier every two hours to see if there is a change in elevation.
“We're going to be taking some soil information near the piers to see what's going on below to determine exactly what happened there,” said Weber.
That process won't be easy. Below each pier is a six-foot thick footing. From there is about 100 feet of support. DOT officials say it could take excavation or ultra-sonic testing to determine the issue.
“We're kind of looking into stability issues right now before we jump in,” said Weber.
DOT officials aren't sure how long they'll monitor stability before addressing repairs. They say they'll take as much time as necessary to do it safely.
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