GREEN BAY - Support is on the way for the closed Leo Frigo Bridge, as highway inspectors continue to work toward a permanent solution.
The Department of Transportation says work will begin Monday to install steel truss towers on either side of the bridge's settled pier, number 22.
The bridge has been closed for more than two weeks after Pier 22 dropped about two feet from its normal level.
It will take about three weeks to build the support towers.
Highway officials still don't believe the Leo Frigo Bridge is in danger of collapse, but insurance is on the way.
“It seemed to be the best plan,” said Kim Rudat, DOT regional communication manager.
Two steel truss towers will sit 55 feet from Pier 22 on each side.
Starting next week, lateral support will also be installed at the top of Pier 22, as well as Piers 21, 23 and 25. Corrosion was found at those three piers, but they haven't had any movement and the corrosion wasn't as severe as 22.
“Should a pier start to settle, this will prevent that pier from tilting. It will settle in a vertical manner, which is what Pier 22 has done. It's just safer for everyone that's going to be working out there,” said Rudat.
The stabilization will cost $1.57 million. The money will come from the Federal Emergency Relief program. The DOT says the towers and lateral support will be removed once the pier foundations are permanently repaired.
“There's three things that continue to go on. One is we're putting plans together to permanently repair those piers. We're doing the stabilization now in order to stabilize the bridge, and we're also continuing with our investigation,” said Rudat.
Earlier this week the DOT said its investigation into the bridge would likely wrap up by the end of this week. They are now saying it will go into next week.
“Well there is two reasons. One is it's taking longer and the second thing is we've decided to move ahead and do soil samples on the piers in the Fox River, so we have to bring in a barge. It takes a little more work to get that to happen,” said Rudat.
Once the DOT is done with its investigation, it expects to have a plan to permanently repair the bridge within three weeks.
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