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MDOT bridge bundling completed in Luce County

Fast facts:

  • The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) bridge bundling pilot project moved forward as the Dollarville Road bridge in Luce County reopened to traffic Thursday.
  • The pilot encompasses major improvements on 19 locally owned bridges in 2022.
  • MDOT's online dashboard at Michigan.gov/BridgeBundling allows the public to track progress on the projects.

LANSING, Mich. ­- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) bridge bundling pilot project continues to move forward, with a Luce County bridge reopening to traffic Thursday, Oct. 6.

The Dollarville Road (Luce County Road 405N) bridge over Teaspoon Creek, southwest of Newberry in Luce County, was built in 1951 and was in serious condition before rebuilding. The bridge had its deck and beams replaced, along with substructure patching.

“This bridge provides a critical link for residents, commuters, and emergency response between Newberry, the M-28 corridor, and the western part of Luce County,” said Mike McTiver, engineer-manager for the Luce County Road Commission. “Prior to the project, the structure had been posted for reduced weight allowance, limiting its capacity for commercial traffic use.”

McTiver said all entities involved have kept good lines of communication open throughout the project process – from design through construction – which allowed concerns to be addressed quickly as they arose.

“I’m grateful that we were given this opportunity to have this bridge rehabilitated to continue to provide a critical link in this community for years to come.” McTiver said. “And it will be nice to have the bridge open just in time for peak fall color.”

Fifteen local agency bridge bundling projects are now largely finished, with work on four others ongoing.

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.

All of the bridges encompassed by the bridge bundling pilot project will be completed within 60 or 90 days from the start of repairs.

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 Michigan.gov/BridgeBundling 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 planning and development 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.