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MDOT bridge bundling project finished in Lenawee County

Fast facts:

  • The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) bridge bundling pilot project moved a step closer to completion as the Sand Creek Highway bridge in Lenawee County reopened to traffic Wednesday.
  • 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 close in on completion, with a Lenawee County bridge reopening to traffic Wednesday, four days ahead of schedule.

Repairs began Aug. 1 on the Sand Creek Highway bridge over the south branch of the River Raisin. The bridge, built in 1963, had its superstructure replaced and substructure patched as part of the pilot program.

"The Sand Creek Highway bridge was in critical condition and had been closed to traffic since 2017," said Scott Merillat, managing director of the Lenawee County Road Commission. "The inclusion of this bridge in the bridge bundling pilot project has allowed the needed repairs to happen without any cost to the road commission. We are thrilled that the bridge will be open, as it has been five years with a detour in place, affecting school bus routes, commuters, farmers, and emergency vehicles."

Seventeen local agency bridge bundling projects are now largely finished, with work on two others well under way. The last of the bundled bridges is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 20.

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.