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UPDATE: Traffic is down on Green Bay bridge

UPDATED Sunday, January 26, 2014 --- 4:25 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Traffic is down sharply since the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay reopened.

The Press-Gazette Media reports traffic is down nearly 20 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, traffic has averaged more than 23,000 vehicles a day since it was fixed and reopened Jan. 5. The average last year was nearly 29,000.

The bridge carrying Interstate 43 traffic across the Fox River was closed Sept. 25 after motorists discovered a 2-foot dip in the pavement east of the river.

State highway officials said the decline in ridership is not surprising, considering motorists spent three months using alternative routes.

Green Bay Alderman Joe Moore says he suspects the harsh winter has motorists reluctant to use the bridge.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, January 3, 2014 --- 12:37 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Work to fix the sagging Leo Frigo bridge in Green Bay is done ahead of schedule.

State transportation officials say the bridge will open Sunday -- 12 days earlier than expected -- and just in time to ease traffic for the Green Bay Packers playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The bridge that carries Interstate 43 over the Fox River has been closed since Sept. 25, when one of its piers sank about 2 feet. Zenith Tech installed new cement supports around the bridge's five piers. Transportation officials say the total project cost about $15 million.

Gov. Scott Walker joined local and state officials and contractors in Green Bay Friday to announce the bridge's opening.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 30, 2013 --- 1:31 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A Waukesha company has won a state contract to repair the Green Bay bridge that closed last month after a support pier sunk, creating a dip in the pavement.

WLUK-TV reports Zenith Tech received the contract Wednesday after submitting a bid of about $7.7 million.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation originally estimated repairs could cost $50 million. The agency now says the total project should come in closer to $15 million. That includes investigation costs, traffic patrol and $1.6 million in stabilization work.

Zenith Tech will install new cement supports around five piers on the Leo Frigo Bridge.

The bridge that carries Interstate 43 over the Fox River has been closed since Sept. 25, when one pier sunk about 2 feet.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 29, 2013 --- 10:53 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- It will likely cost about $8 million to repair a Green Bay bridge that was closed last month after a support pier sunk, creating a dip in the pavement.

WLUK-TV reports the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has received three bids to fix the bridge. The bids range from nearly $7.8 million from Zenith Tech, of Waukesha, to about $8.8 million from Edward Kraemer and Sons, of Plain.

Lunda Construction, of Black River Falls, bid about $8.3 million.

State transportation officials originally estimated repairs could cost $50 million.

State officials are reviewing the bids and plan to award the contract Wednesday. Work is expected to start next week.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 22, 2013 --- 10:48 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- State officials hope to reopen a sagging Green Bay bridge by early next year.

Mark Gottlieb is the secretary of the state Department of Transportation. He said Tuesday the agency will be putting out bids that call for work to be completed by Jan. 17. He says there will be incentives for finishing earlier and penalties for missing the deadline.

The Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge has been closed since Sept. 25 when it was found to be sagging about 2 feet. The bridge has sunk another three-quarters of an inch since then.

Officials say they hope for work to begin Nov. 4. They say the effort will involve drilling down and sinking structural shafts into underlying bedrock.

They say four piers that have shown signs of corrosion will be reinforced.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, October 14, 2013 --- 6:19 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Work has begun on a temporary steel frame to support Green Bay's sagging Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge.

The work began Monday. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says much of the early work won't be visible until the support towers start going up, likely sometime early next week.

The bridge has been closed since Sept. 25 when it was found to be sagging about 2 feet. The bridge has sunk another three-quarters of an inch since then.

The state Department of Transportation hired Lunda Construction Co. of Black River Falls to build the stabilization structure at a cost of $1.5 million.

Press-Gazette Media reports the temporary steel frame is intended to prevent further sagging while state and federal investigators work to diagnose and correct the problem.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Sunday, October 13, 2013 --- 8:22 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Crews that built the now-closed Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay weren't able to rest its steel structure atop sturdy limestone bedrock, which some geologists and engineers say may have contributed to its sinking pavement.

Wisconsin highway officials discount that theory. They say steel corrosion at ground level is the likely culprit that forced the indefinite closure of the bridge, which carried about 40,000 cars daily over the Fox River.

The Green Bay Press Gazette reports Sunday that some experts say underground soil that was sturdy enough to support the bridge when it opened three decades ago might have deteriorated in subsequent years (http://gbpg.net/16Yl8h0). Bill Kallman, a Michigan engineering consultant who has worked on bridges in New York, says he thinks that's a more plausible explanation than corrosion.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Saturday, October 12, 2013 --- 5:22 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says work will begin next week to stabilize a major bridge in Green Bay.

The Leo Frigo bridge has been closed since Sept. 25 after a portion of the structure developed a deep dip in the pavement. Investigators determined a support pier sank about two feet after pilings beneath the pier corroded and buckled.

WLUK-TV says construction of two stabilization towers will begin Monday. The DOT says the towers will be temporary and will keep the bridge from further damage. One-hundred percent of the $1.5 million temporary fix is expected to be covered by the federal Emergency Relief Program.

Preliminary estimates put the cost of permanent repairs at $50 million, but that figure could fluctuate as transportation officials develop a final repair plan.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, October 4, 2013 --- 3:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The federal government has agreed to cover most of the cost of repairs for the sagging Leo Frigo Bridge in Green Bay.

Gov. Scott Walker's administration announced Friday that the Federal Highway Administration has determined the repairs are eligible for funding. The federal money will cover 100 percent of emergency repairs with 180 days of the bridge's closure on Sept. 25 and 90 percent of emergency and permanent repairs thereafter. Preliminary estimates put the cost of repairs at $50 million but that figure could fluctuate as transportation officials develop a final repair plan.

Transportation officials closed the bridge after a deep dip developed in the pavement. Investigators have determined a support pier sank about 2 feet after pilings beneath the pier corroded and buckled.

Workers plan to build support towers adjacent to the pier to stabilize the structure within the next few days.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, October 3, 2013 --- 5:12 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A support pier on a Wisconsin bridge sank after pilings underneath it buckled, probably because of corrosion.

That's the conclusion from a Wisconsin Department of Transportation investigation. The DOT has been working since last week to figure out what caused the support pier on the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge to sink about 2 feet, creating a deep dip in the pavement.

The bridge that carries about 40,000 cars a day over the Fox River in Green Bay has been closed since Sept. 25.

The DOT said in a news release Thursday that investigators believe soil composition in the area and changes in the water table caused the corrosion. It says most other piers on the bridge are good condition. The agency will now begin working on a plan for repairs.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, September 30, 2013 --- 6:22 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- An underground fuel pipeline lies about 12 feet from a support pier for a highway bridge that unexpectedly sank about 2 feet in Green Bay.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation spokesman Kim Rudat says the pipeline is sound and has been clearly marked. He says transportation officials aren't concerned about its safety so far.

Officials closed the Leo Frigo Bridge Wednesday after the pier sank, causing a deep dip in the pavement.

The pipeline, owned by West Shore Pipe Line Co. of Illinois, carries gasoline and diesel to Green bay. Spokesman Patrick Hodgins says they aren't concerned but are monitoring the situation and can turn it off easily.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Monday is checking whether it has jurisdiction.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Sunday, September 29, 2013 --- 8:19 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A trucker was crossing the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay early last Wednesday when he felt something strange underneath his rig -- so strange that he reached for his cellphone and dialed 911.

Press-Gazette Media reports (http://gbpg.net/16Cc8Oh ) that when he reported the pavement on the bridge seemed to be sagging, the dispatcher either could not understand him or could not believe it.

After being dispatched to investigate, a Green Bay police officer reported about 10 minutes later that nothing appeared unusual. It would be almost another hour before officers realized the 120-foot-tall bridge had, in fact, sagged and that the highway had to be shut down.

The bridge remains closed indefinitely while officials try to determine why a support pier sank, causing a 2-foot dip in the pavement.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Saturday, September 28, 2013 --- 8:13 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- State Department of Transportation officials are working through the weekend to figure out why a Green Bay bridge sank 2 feet.

Officials closed the Leo Frigo Bridge Wednesday after a support pier unexpectedly sank 2 feet, causing a deep dip in the pavement.

DOT spokesman Kim Rudat (roo-DAHT') says workers were checking for movement in other support piers and testing the area soil Saturday. That will tell them if they need to shore up the bridge before doing other work.

He says they haven't found any movement yet but they've attached equipment similar to seismographs that will sound alarms if there is.

Gov. Scott Walker declared Friday the closure of bridge a disaster. It could lead to federal reimbursement for the first 180 days of repair work.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Friday, September 27, 2013 --- 8:49 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has declared the closure of the Leo Frigo Bridge in Green Bay a disaster.

State transportation officials closed the bridge Wednesday after a support pier unexpectedly sank 2 feet, causing a deep dip in the pavement.

Walker issued an executive order Friday calling the bridge a key commercial link, declaring the closure a disaster and placing Brown County in a state of emergency for 60 days. The bridge spans the Fox River at the mouth of Green Bay.

The declarations could lead to federal reimbursement for the first 180 days of repair work. Transportation officials plan to attach equipment similar to seismographs on the bridge's piers to detect movement. Once the equipment is in place workers will begin inspections to help determine how to make repairs.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Thursday, September 26, 2013 --- 7:52 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Traffic officials in Wisconsin say congestion has eased with drivers being successfully rerouted away from a bridge that was closed after a concrete support pier settled by a little more than 2 feet.

Department of Transportation traffic engineer Randy Asman said Thursday that the morning commute went pretty smoothly, as did the evening commute the night before.

The Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay was closed Wednesday after a long, deep dip was discovered in the pavement about 5 a.m.

Transportation officials say the bridge appears to have stabilized, but they are keeping an eye on it. They're also investigating what caused the sag.

The 30-year-old bridge carries about 40,000 vehicles a day over the Fox River.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 --- 5:30 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Officials say the bridge that carries Interstate 43 over the Fox River in Green Bay will remain closed indefinitely after a concrete support pier settled by more than 2 feet.

The Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge was closed early Wednesday when a long, deep dip was discovered in the pavement about 5 a.m.

Gov. Scott Walker says the state will fix the bridge, emphasizing its importance to northwestern Wisconsin's economy.

State Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb says the bridge is not in danger of collapsing.

But Kim Rudat, the DOT's Northeast Region spokesman, says the closure could last months or even a year.

Press-Gazette Media report (http://gbpg.net/19A8S2b ) the bridge, built in 1981, carries about 40,000 vehicles a day.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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