Update: Leo Frigo expected to reopen January 2014

By Kris Schuller | kris.schuller@wearegreenbay.com, Heather Sawaski, Local 5 News

Published 10/22 2013 10:12AM

Updated 10/22 2013 10:40PM

GREEN BAY, Wis (WFRV) State transportation officials hope to reopen the Leo Frigo bridge in roughly three months. That news came this morning as the Wisconsin DOT explained their long-term fix for the sagging structure.

The Leo Frigo bridge has been closed to traffic since late September. In just a few weeks work gets underway to repair it's damaged support piers.

After weeks of investigation - a plan put in place. Aimed at getting back in service this now broken bridge - sooner than many expected

"January 17 is the date we'll have on our contract," said WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. "That is the date that we're shooting for to reopen the bridge."

At a new conference Tuesday, state engineers announced their plan to repair sinking pier 22; its steel pilings underneath buckled from corrosion caused by old industrial waste soils, placed as fill long ago.

"It's an industrial waste, I call it flyash, foundry sand," said WisDOT Project Engineer Tom Buchholz.

While the corrosion caused only pier 22's steel support piling to fail,  damage has been found at four other bridge piers too. The fix - to extend the footing on each and drill four - 60 inch shafts.

"We're going to drill down approximately 120 feet into the bedrock and socket those shafts 7 to 8 feet into the bedrock itself," said WisDOT bridge engineer Scot Becker.

New steel pilings will be placed - encased in concrete to prevent further corrosion. At pier 22 - the sagging bridge deck will then be lifted back into place.

"Vertically jack up the whole deck, put blocking underneath and pour a concrete cap to raise it up," said Buchholz.

The plan - the consensus of outside experts and hired consultants.

"It's a very robust system - confident it will hold the loads for a long time to come," said Becker.

WisDOT isn't releasing the estimated project cost because the contract is out for bid right now. It's expected to be awarded next week, with construction starting November 4th.

The execution - for the contractor chosen, a 24/7 schedule until the work is done.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - At a news conference Tuesday morning the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said the Leo Frigo Bridge is expected to reopen by end of January 2014, if repairs go as expected.

The DOT will put the repair project out for a bid staring this afternoon with a projected January 17 completion date.

They will offer incentives for finishing before that date.

The investigation into the cause of the bridge sinking will continue to be investigated.

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