2-foot sag in pavement closes Wisconsin bridge

GREEN BAY, Wis. — A highway bridge closed after a concrete support pier settled by about 2 feet appears to have stopped moving, but Wisconsin transportation officials said Thursday they were watching for additional settling while trying to figure out what caused the problem.

The Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge was closed about 5 a.m. Wednesday after a long, deep dip was found in the pavement. The shutdown snarled traffic in Green Bay, where the bridge carries about 40,000 cars a day over the Fox River on I-43.

Conditions quickly eased, however, as drivers were directed to other routes. Randy Asman, a Wisconsin Department of Transportation traffic engineer, said drivers were being rerouted around the city or to the city’s Main Street bridge and the morning commute went smoothly along those detours. Still, he said, drivers should give themselves a little extra time.

Jerry Baranczyk, of Pulaski, said he left 10 to 15 minutes early to get to his job with Procter &Gamble, but he was glad he hadn’t done that Wednesday.

“I was just lucky I didn’t leave too early,” Jerry Baranczyk told WLUK-TV. “I would have been going across it about the time they shut down.”

The bridge closure is not expected to affect most fans coming to Sunday’s Green Bay Packers football game because most take other roads to Lambeau Field, DOT spokesman Kim Rudat said. But, he added, “Anyone who’s been in Green Bay on Packer day knows it’s slow going, and they’ve got to plan their route.”

Rudat said the sag in the pavement appears to have developed over a few hours. State and federal investigators are still looking into what caused it.

The pier settled unevenly, with one side dipping 22 inches and the other settling about 27 inches. The dip in the pavement stretches across the width of the bridge, but does not appear to have affected other areas, said Bill Dreher, a DOT engineer and stuctures design chief. Engineers have been measuring the pier and those close to it every few hours with a laser to make sure there’s no more movement.

“We want to make sure it’s stable first, and then we’ll decide what we can to do get in there and check it out,” Dreher said.

The bridge, which opened in 1981, was last inspected in 2012, Rudat said. It’s named for Leo Frigo, a former cheese company president who founded a food pantry for the poor in Green Bay.

More in Local News

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Jim Mathis, the Vietnam veteran whose Marysville garden was recently featured in The Herald, died Wednesday. Mathis, who suffered from PTSD and cancer, found solace in his beautiful garden. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Vietnam veteran Jim Mathis found peace in his garden

The Marysville man who served two tours died Wednesday after suffering from cancer and PTSD.

Smith Island habitat restoration cost to rise $1.2 million

The project is intended to increase survival rates for juvenile chinook salmon.

Add deputies and bump taxes a bit, executive proposes

Dave Somers’ Snohomish County budget proposal also would address traffic problems in neighborhoods.

County councilman proposes banning safe injection sites

Nate Nehring says county officials also should find “credible, long-term solutions to addiction.”

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

They chose the longshot candidate to fill a vacant seat

Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick will serve as representative for the 39th legislative district.

How Carleton Farms prepares for Halloween — in the summer

The Lake Stevens farm opens Sept. 30 for your pumpkin pickin’, scare lovin’, zombie-fightin’ pleasure

Expanded Community Transit service set to start

CT is adding a total of 68 new bus trips in an expansion of service approved by district directors.

Most Read