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Troubled Leo Frigo Bridge sinks further; official detour setup

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Leo Frigo Bridge has sunk further after state Department of Transportation officials say they detected another quarter-inch dip this past weekend.

The bridge was shutdown on September 25, after drivers call law enforcement about a dip in the roadway. Pier 22 on the bridge sunk about two feet into the ground and DOT officials say their investigation found corrosion in pilings under that pier, along with some nearby piers on the east side of the bridge.

Further sinking of Pier 22 was documented last Friday, when the DOT said it had sunk a half-inch. That was also when the agency said it would build support beams to keep the bridge stable.

The DOT said those beams could start as early as Thursday. There will be two towers, 55 feet from Pier 22 on each side.

Transportation officials say the investigation into the bridge could wrap up by Thursday. Right now, as a precaution, inspectors are looking at all 30 piers on the west side of the Fox River. Workers are also digging 11 wells in that area to monitor groundwater.

Meantime, Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials want drivers to avoid going through Green Bay while dealing with the shutdown of the Leo Frigo Bridge.

An official detour around the bridge has been established. The DOT says Highway 41 and 172 are the best ways to get around the shuttered bridge.

Crews plan to put up detour signs on those highways, directing traffic to use those freeways to get across the Fox River.

State transportation leaders want drivers to avoid going through Green Bay while making their way around the closed Leo Frigo Bridge. "ALT 43" signs will then be removed from between Webster Ave. and Atkinson Dr. And the Main Street bridge in Green Bay.

The Leo Frigo Bridge, which carries Interstate 43 across the Fox River on Green Bay's north side, has been closed since September 25, when a dip in the road was discovered.

One of the bridge's piers had sunk about two feet into the ground, the DOT says. Investigation revealed corrosion in pilings under the affected pier and some nearby piers on the east side of the bridge.

Early estimates have put repair costs at $50 million. Much of that is expected to be covered by the federal government.

There is no indication as to how long the bridge will be closed. Around 40,000 vehicles used the bridge daily.