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Leo Frigo (I-43) bridge team assembled, investigation underway

September 27, 2013

Investigation to use sensors in monitoring Green Bay bridge piers for movement

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) Northeast Region in Green Bay is announcing the first steps in the investigation to discover what caused the Leo Frigo (I-43) Bridge Pier 22 to settle, resulting in a full closure of the bridge. A team of experts met this morning at its headquarters in Green Bay, developing a plan of action. This team includes structural and geotechnical experts from WisDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. Representatives from Michael Baker, Jr. and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. have also been added to the team.

The team maintains public safety as its first priority. Specific measures include: Surveying a portion of the structure to reduce the area of safety concern; attach tiltmeters and accelerometers to 3 piers (including Pier 22) to monitor and warn of any movement; and monitor the settlement of Pier 22 twice per day. This equipment is similar to seismographs used in earthquake detection.

"We need to make sure everyone is safe out there before we do anything around Pier 22, either below or above," said WisDOT NE Region Director Will Dorsey. "Once the safety measures are in place, then we can go in and start collecting soil samples, taking readings on the piers themselves, and using laser and visual inspections."

"In addition to our on-site investigation," noted Dorsey, "We are also reviewing historical engineering and site data to help understand all aspects of this event."

Once all existing data is collected, the team will carefully study the results and determine a course of action to repair the bridge. Though data collection has begun, Dorsey reiterates that WisDOT will not speculate on a time frame for its completion.

WisDOT would like to remind the public that no one should attempt to access the bridge or pier area.

Information concerning the Leo Frigo investigation and repair can be found at the WisDOT web site.

For more information, contact:
Communications Manager Kim Rudat, WisDOT NE Region
(920) 492-5743, kim.rudat@dot.wi.gov

 

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