Bridge struck is safe for drivers, but structure is aging

WAUWATOSA (WITI) -- The Wisconsin Ave. bridge that was struck by an over-sized load on Tuesday, May 28th is safe for traffic. But officials with the Dept. of Transportation know the aging structure needs to be replaced.

Chunks of cement fell from the bridge Tuesday afternoon as crews worked to remove loose pieces left behind after a semi carrying a forklift hit the overpass. The wreck shut down the northbound lanes of Highway 45 for roughly four hours.

Cars were back on the bridge on Wednesday, but the far right eastbound lane was closed.

"That's more of a precaution because of the damage that was done to the bridge girder," said Brian Bliesner of the DOT.

Bliesner says the bridge is scheduled to be demolished in 2015 as part of the Zoo Interchange construction.

"Whatever we do is kind of a temporary solution we're not going to do anything extravagant fix. But we're going to do enough of a fix that we can open up that lane and get the bridge fully functional," said Bliesner.

That work will most likely happen overnight and possibly over a weekend. No matter what, the DOT says the work needed will be done this summer. That's because it plans to close Watertown Plank Rd. in the near future.

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