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M-55 Cooley Bridge completion delayed, detour to continue

November 1, 2019 – Due to a combination of weather delays and additional unanticipated work, the M-55 Cooley Bridge over the Pine River in Manistee County will not reopen on Nov. 2 as scheduled.

While crews from contractor CA Hull have completed the blasting and much of the painting of the bridge's steel superstructure, inspectors have identified additional steel components for replacement. It's now anticipated the bridge work won't be complete, and the detour won't be lifted, until as late as mid-January.

"We understand the disappointment that commuters and residents must feel that the detour will remain in place for several weeks longer than expected," said Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Traverse City Transportation Service Center (TSC) Manager Rick Liptak. "While this is an inconvenience now, it should allow contractors to complete the work and not have to return in the spring."

MDOT is investing $4.9 million for work this year including resurfacing the bridge deck, expansion joint replacement, substructure concrete patching, strengthening steel components, cleaning and coating of the structural steel, concrete sealing, and upgrading the bridge approaches. In 2018, MDOT performed some initial structural steel repair and partial painting, which also require detouring M-55 traffic.

"We certainly want this work to be completed quickly, but we need to take the time to make all necessary repairs correctly to help ensure the Cooley Bridge can continue to carry traffic safely for many years to come," Liptak said.

This work has required a detour of highway traffic on local roads: Snyder Road, Hoxyville Road, 48 1/2 Road, and M-37.