DOT waiting on warmer weather to make bridge repairs

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- We've seen the toll this harsh winter has taken on the roads -- and on Monday, March 10th, it became obvious that winter has also impacted area bridges. A section of the I-94 bridge above Highway 20 came crashing down onto the highway below on Monday afternoon.

DOT officials say the problem is the freeze-thaw we've seen throughout the winter. The DOT says a lot of work needs to be done -- but crews need the right temperatures in order to get the work completed.

"Old Man Winter has not been very nice to us. The very, very cold frosts as well as some thawing that`s going on has caused moisture to get into some of the areas, such as under the asphalt or in between crevices of bridges," Brian DeNeve with the DOT said.

On Monday, a 20-foot-long, two-by-four-inch piece of concrete fell from Highway 20 in Racine County. Fortunately, no one was injured.

"Some moisture was getting in between the soffits or seams of the bridge there and causing that expansion and some cracking that ensued," DeNeve said.

One say later, there was a similar problem in a different spot.

Repairs at Loomis and I-894 shut down two lanes of traffic for 10 minutes. Someone spotted the concrete had separated from the bridge.

Crews used mallets to break off loose pieces before they fell on vehicles.

The DOT says bridge inspections happen a couple times a year.

DOT officials say the issues we've seen this week are not structural.

"That was a cosmetic breakage. It didn`t have anything to do that compromised the safety of that bridge," DeNeve said.

For now, the DOT can only make minor repairs.

"If we`re going to do the repairs on the roads, we`re going to make sure it`s done and they`ll actually take," DeNeve said.

For that, the DOT says they need warmer weather -- and more of it.

The DOT is encouraging drivers to report problems to they can be addressed.