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Ottawa County bridge bundling project reopens

Fast facts:
- The Byron Road bridge in Ottawa County reopened to traffic today, the latest bridge repaired under the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) bridge bundling pilot project.
- The pilot currently encompasses major improvements to 19 locally owned bridges in 2022. Five bridge projects have been largely completed, two are under way. Five others are slated to begin this month.
- MDOT expects the bridge bundling pilot project, which covers several projects under one contract, to streamline coordination and permitting, increase economies of scale, and improve bridge conditions on local routes.
- MDOT's online dashboard at allows the public to track progress on the projects.

LANSING, Mich. -
The Byron Road bridge over the Black River reopened to traffic today, making it the fifth bridge repaired this year under the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) bridge bundling pilot project.

"The bridge bundling program has been a very collaborative effort between MDOT, local agency bridge owners, and other stakeholders, especially for this key bridge crossing in Ottawa County," said Brett Laughlin, managing director of the Ottawa County Road Commission. "It is a vital route for residential and commercial use, so making these needed repairs is essential for the community "

Laughlin said the Ottawa County Road Commission is excited to be part of the program. "We are hopeful the Legislature will continue the program to offer an efficient and economical solution to improve the bridge infrastructure throughout the state," he said.

Major repairs on several other local agency bridges continue this month as the pilot project moves forward. Six bridge bundling projects started in March and April. Five are now largely complete. All of the bridges encompassed by the program will be completed and reopened to traffic within 60 or 90 days from the start of repairs.

Repairs on the Mason Road bridge over the south branch of the Shiawassee River in Livingston County began May 31. Rebuilding of the Tallman Road bridge over the Maple River in Clinton County is set to begin Monday. Four other projects are scheduled to begin later in June.

This year's bridge bundling pilot project, the first of its kind in Michigan, is repairing 19 bridges in serious or critical condition that are owned by local agencies. Each bridge will have its superstructure replaced, which includes full removal and replacement of the bridge deck and supporting beams.

The pilot project is funded by Federal Highway Improvement Program (HIP) dollars. MDOT bridge staff and consultants are doing preliminary design and construction administration work for the bridge bundling program.

The program’s online dashboard at provides project updates and shows percent completion, detour routes, and other information for each of these projects. 

$196 million in federal COVID relief funds appropriated by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature will allow the state to execute Phase II of the bridge bundling program, beginning later this year, to address 59 more bridges. 

A list of the Phase II bridges, which were prioritized based on regional mobility and safety, is available here. Phase II focuses on closed and load-posted bridges. Some will be permanently removed while others will be fully replaced.

MDOT expects bridge bundling, which covers several bridge locations under one contract, to streamline coordination and permitting, increase economies of scale, and improve bridge conditions on local routes around the state. MDOT is working to expand the approach, already in use on state trunkline projects, to address locally owned bridges.

The remaining 11 bridges to be rebuilt this year under the pilot project, along with scheduled start dates and contracted length of the project, are:

Macomb County: 26 Mile Road (July 25, 90 days)
Eaton County: Five Point Highway (June 15, 60 days)
Hillsdale County: Squawfield Road (June 15, 60 days)
St. Clair County: Palms Road (July 5, 90 days)
Ingham County: Linn Road (June 20, 60 days), Dennis Road (July 5, 60 days)
Lenawee County: Sand Creek Highway (Aug. 1, 90 days)
Livingston County: Iosco Road (Aug. 15, 60 days)
Luce County: Dollarville Road (Aug. 1, 60 days)
Muskegon County: Maple Island Road (June 15, 60 days)
St. Joseph County: Nottawa Road (Aug. 15, 90 days)

The Byron Road bridge over the Black River in Ottawa County reopened to traffic.

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