Leo Frigo Bridge sinks further, federal emergency funds approved

CREATED Oct 4, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct 4, 2013

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GREEN BAY - The Federal Highway Administration has determined that repairs to the Leo Frigo Bridge in Green Bay are eligible for funding under the Emergency Relief Program.

Governor Walker initiated the process to receive federal funding last week by issuing an executive order, which declared a transportation emergency in Brown County due to the bridge closure.

"We appreciate the FHWA's prompt response to help us complete needed repairs to the Leo Frigo Bridge while meeting the Governor's commitment to get this work done safely and as quickly as possible," said Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb.

Bridge engineers detected an additional half-inch settlement of Pier 22 late Thursday, which is the first time settlement has been detected since the pier settled approximately two feet on Sept. 25.

"A preliminary investigation has revealed that pilings below Pier 22 have corroded and buckled, possibly due to soil conditions and the rise and fall of the water table at the location," according to WisDOT. "There is still no estimate on when the bridge may re-open."

The federal funds will cover 100 percent of emergency repairs within 180 days following the bridge's closure on Sept. 25, 2013.

According to WisDOT, after the first 180 days, emergency repairs and all permanent repairs will be at a 90 percent federal share.

The preliminary estimate for repairing the bridge is currently $50 million, although that number could change as a more detailed plan is developed to fix the structure.