Rawson Ave. bridge will take just 12 hours to put in place

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Rawson Ave. bridge is scheduled to be put into place in just over a week using a technology brand new to Wisconsin.

"It's an innovative technology that's been used around the country and it's coming to Wisconsin for the first time," said WisDOT SE Freeway Construction Chief Ryan Luck.

The process should take about 12 hours to complete using a powerful piece of equipment called a self-propelled modular transporter, or SPMT. The device will lift two sections of the bridge, weighing three million pounds each, into place.

"We're going to be rolling the bridge which has already been poured and cured and the concrete is all hard and the girders are all there," said Luck.

Luck says the SPMT is a test run for the state and could determine when and how the accelerated technology could be used in the future.

"We can do the work off on the side while we do the work without impacting traffic and then when we're ready we can wheel it in in the middle of the night," explained Luck.

The interstate will be closed from 10 p.m. on June 14th until 10 a.m. on June 15th while the bridge is installed. Some motorists are already planning for the detour.

"When I saw the crane over there I thought this is going to be a big mess," said Mary Marquette. "I think we'll go down 27th St. and down to Drexel and avoid the whole thing."

Bus driver Dave Guzman isn't worried about the extra road closure.

"I drive a city bus so we deal with a lot of detours and heavy traffic and that's why I say I'm used to it," said Guzman.

The project is on schedule so far however heavy wind, rain, or an electrical storm could postpone the installation by a day.