The Story of the Splendid Milton-Madison Bridge

The Milton-Madison Ohio River Bridge is to become free today, several years earlier than was originally contemplated.  Diligent application of business principles to the problems of government within the administration of affairs of the Kentucky Department of Highways has resulted in the freeing of a total of 12 toll bridges within the past four years.  This bridge, as well as the other 11, is a historic milepost.

The Milton-Madison bridge was built as a private enterprise.  The bridge was designed and constructed by the J. G. White Engineering Company of New York City during the years 1928 and 1929, and was opened to traffic on December 20, 1929.  The total original reported cost of the bridge was $1,365,101.84.  To provide funds with which to purchase this bridge the Department of Highways issued Commonwealth of Kentucky Bridge Revenue Bonds, authorized by the Murphy Act of 1928.

Between the date of acquisition, December 10, 1937, and August 31, 1947, a total of 2,079,810 vehicles crossed this bridge.  The bridge is 3,181 feet in length, consisting of three 150 ft. steel deck truss spans; one 150 ft. through truss steel spam; one 254 ft. through truss steel span; one 727 ft. through truss steel span; two 600 ft. through truss steel spans, and one 78 ft. steel plate girder span.  The piers and abutments are concrete and the floor is concrete, providing a 20 ft. roadway.  The floor of the bridge is approximately 100 feet above the low water level.  At normal river stage, four piers are in the river. All of these, in addition to another land pier on the Kentucky side, are all piers that support the main spans and are carried to solid rock.

The bridge provides the shortest route between Lexington, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana.  It spans the Ohio River between Milton, Kentucky and Madison, Indiana, and connects Kentucky Highways 37, 36 and 42 with Indiana Highways 56, 7, 29 and 62.

Maintenance of the bridge since acquisition has been under the direction of the Bridge Section of the Kentucky Department of Highways.  All maintenance costs of the bridge have been carried by the Road Fund and were not charged against tolls.

All bridge projects in Kentucky are under the supervision of the Bridge Section of the Kentucky Department of Highways, H. R. Creal, Bridge Engineer, and E. D. Smith, Assistant Bridge Engineer. T. H. Cutler is State Highway Engineer.


from the Program Celebrating the Freeing of the Milton-Madison Toll Bridge.  The Freeing was Saturday, November 1, 1947, at noon