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

Mill Creek councilman no longer lives in city, panel finds

The Canvassing Board determined Sean Kelly is not eligible to vote there.

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

The beavers weren’t happy, either, about Mill Creek flooding

A tree fell on their dam, sending a rush of water into a neighborhood near Jackson High School.

Two windsurfers rescued from Port Susan near Kayak Point

The men had failed to return to shore during Sunday’s windstorm.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Stranger offered candy to student walking home from school

The Granite Falls School District is warning families about… Continue reading

Coming together as family

Special-needs students and teachers at the Transition Center cooked up a Thanksgiving feast.

Lynnwood’s property tax promise to homeowners sort of true

They were told consolidation of fire departments would save, but new rates likely will be more.

Woman who died in 5-car crash identified

A car driven by Susan E. Sill rear-ended another vehicle Wednesday on Smokey Point Boulevard.

Most Read