Bridge placement technology brings out-of-state spectators

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A new bridge placement technology, never before seen in Wisconsin, was used to move the Rawson Ave. bridge into place on Friday, June 14th and Saturday, June 15th.

The method allowed crews to build and install the bridge in about one month's time, versus the normal four to six months a project like this would traditionally take.

"Certainly the impacts on the interstate itself are reduced by allowing us to build these pieces off to the side rather than constructing them over active lanes of traffic," said Michael Pyritz of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

The unique project had spectators lined up to watch crews lift segments of the bridge and drop them into place.

"We live in Dubuque, Iowa so we just drove up for the night to watch it happen," said Steve Flogel.

Flogel's son is one of the workers helping to assemble the bridge.

"He just graduated, he's a civil engineer, got hired in February, thought I'd come up here and watch him on his first project," said Flogel.

State Representative Mark Honadel took special interest in the project as well.

"Being an industrial guy, I was born and raised making big things out of steel and this is very exciting, interesting to me so we decided, heck, we're gonna come down here with the lawn chair, bring a little something to drink, have a little relaxation time and relax and enjoy the whole show," said Honadel.

Officials anticipate having the bridge opened by the end of June or early July, however the project is far from complete. Starting Saturday night, June 15th, the off-ramp on I-94 East will close at Rawson through the end of October.