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Macomb County span reopens, more bridge bundling projects starting

Fast facts:
- The 31 Mile Road bridge in Macomb 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. Six bridge projects have been largely completed, two more are under way. Four 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 31 Mile Road bridge in Macomb County, under repair since late April, reopened to traffic ahead of schedule today as the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) bridge bundling pilot project continues to make rapid progress.

"31 Mile Road over the Tupper Brook Drain is an important east and west route that connects rural traffic to key north and south roadways in Macomb County," said Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR) Director Bryan Santo. "MDOT’s bridge bundle program is a valuable resource, addressing critical infrastructure needs with state funding while allowing MCDR to focus on other important road and bridge projects. We are committed to improving Macomb County's road and bridge system while delivering the greatest value to residents, drivers and our community."

The 31 Mile Road bridge was originally expected to be reopened to traffic by June 24 but contractors were able to push that date forward by two weeks.
Six local agency bridge bundling projects are now largely completed, work on two others is under way, and four more projects are set to begin this month. 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 began Monday. Four other projects are scheduled to begin later in June:

Eaton County: Five Point Highway (June 13)
Hillsdale County: Squawfield Road (June 15)
Ingham County: Linn Road (June 20)
Muskegon County: Maple Island Road (June 15)

All four of these bridge projects are scheduled to be completed in 60 days.

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.

"This is the most supportive program from the State of Michigan for local bridges that I've ever seen," said Wayne Harrall, deputy managing director for engineering at the Kent County Road Commission. "The MDOT Bureau of Bridges has engaged with local agencies from the beginning, before there was even funding allocated to the effort."

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.

An online dashboard at provides project updates and shows percent completion, detour routes, and other information for each project. 

The pilot program is only the first phase of the bridge bundling initiative. $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 seven 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)
St. Clair County: Palms Road (July 5, 90 days)
Ingham County: 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)
St. Joseph County: Nottawa Road (Aug. 15, 90 days)

31 Mile Road bridge over the Tupper Brook Drain in Macomb County.

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