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Four Rebuilding Our Bridges Projects Completed as State Continues to Fix Roads and Bridges
August 19, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2022
Governor Whitmer Announces Four Rebuilding Our Bridges Projects Completed as the State Continues to Fix Roads and Bridges at a Record Pace
In 2022, Gov. Whitmer is making the largest infrastructure investment in Michigan’s history
LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the completion of four bridge projects as the administration continues to fix roads and bridges at a record pace across the state. As part of the governor's Rebuild Our Bridges program, 19 local bridges across the state will be fully replaced this year. To date, 10 have been completed, with many done ahead of schedule, and only 9 remaining. The newly completed projects include the Five Point Highway bridge over the Battle Creek River in Eaton County, the bridge over the east branch of the St. Joseph River in Hillsdale County, the Maple Island Road bridge at Brooks Creek in Muskegon County, and the Linn Road bridge over Deer Creek in Ingham County.
“Thanks to our hard work, we are moving dirt to fix roads and bridges across Michigan at a record pace. With the completion of these four projects, Michiganders will have a smoother drive, saving them time and money as they run errands, go to work, or travel,” said Governor Whitmer. “Through the end of 2022, we will fix over 16,000 lane miles of road and more than 1,200 bridges, supporting nearly 89,000 jobs. The bipartisan budget I recently signed, will continue to support more projects like these across the state. The projects we’re moving forward with will support more good-paying jobs and deliver on an issue that matters to us all—safe, reliable infrastructure."
Five Point Highway is a Class A primary county road connecting rural Barry County, the western part of Eaton County, the city of Eaton Rapids, and southern Eaton County. Without the governor’s Rebuilding Our Bridges program, a bridge closure would affect residents and manufacturing facilities in Eaton Rapids as well as farmers in southeast Eaton County.
“The 1959 bridge over the Battle Creek River was in serious condition and had been posted for (restrictions of) heavy loads before the rebuilding project,” said Matthew Hannahs, engineer manager, Eaton County Road Commission. “Normally loaded trucks have had to take a 4-mile detour north or south to get to the next appropriate route.”
The Brooks Creek bridge is just north of the Muskegon River bridge, straddling the Muskegon/Newaygo county line. Weight limit restrictions here would have imposed substantial delay costs on the heavy trucking companies that rely on this road. Closing the Brooks Creek bridge effectively closed the adjacent crossing of the Muskegon River, requiring long detours for commuters, commercial trucking, tourists, and nearby residents.
“The old bridge’s condition was such that we would have had to soon impose weight restrictions on it. With the nearest crossings of the Muskegon River being 7 miles to the east and 8 miles to the west, getting this bridge back in service should be a welcome relief for its daily users,” said Paul Bouman, highway engineer, Muskegon County Road Commission. “The timing of this initiative by the State of Michigan and MDOT was perfect for us in that it handily resolved a looming problem that we otherwise lacked the resources to fix. While closing the road this summer has been a hardship for those impacted, the long-term win for the public is having a reliable new structure in place and ready for many years of useful service versus what could have been a long period of time with restricted load limits and higher costs for trucking.”
The Linn Road bridge over Deer Creek in Ingham County is slated to reopen Saturday after 60 days of repair work. The bridge near Williamston, built in 1968, was in serious condition before the repairs and had been posted for load restrictions.
The bridge over the east branch of the St. Joseph River in Hillsdale County, built in 1966, was in serious condition before repairs. The bridge had its superstructure replaced with minor widening and substructure patching. Work on this bridge started on June 15 and the bridge was reopened to traffic last Friday, August 12.
About Rebuilding Our Bridges Program
The Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Rebuilding Our Bridges pilot program, the first of its kind in Michigan, will repair 19 bridges owned by local agencies in serious or critical condition. Each bridge will have its superstructure replaced, which includes full removal and replacement of the bridge deck and supporting beams.
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 program’s online dashboard at Michigan.gov/BridgeBundling provides project updates and shows percent completion, detour routes, and other information for each of these projects.
Rebuilding Michigan’s Roads and Bridges
Since taking office through the end of 2022, Governor Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist will have fixed, repaired, or replaced more than 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges, supporting more than 89,000 jobs without raising taxes by a dime. These and future repairs are made possible by the Rebuilding Michigan plan, a five-year, $3.5 billion investment in our highways and bridges, and the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan, the largest one-time investment in Michigan's infrastructure in state history. These strategic investments in Michigan's infrastructure ensure that future Michiganders will have safer roads and bridges to run errands, travel, and strengthen the economy.
Learn more about the Whitmer-Gilchrist Administration’s historic infrastructure investments by clicking on the following link: Infrastructure Accomplishments.
Infrastructure Investments in the FY 2023 Budget
Governor Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist’s fourth balanced and bipartisan budget expands on the investments in the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan signed in April by speeding up replacement of lead service lines, reducing traffic congestion at local rail crossings, improving state fish hatcheries, and funding long-overdue maintenance projects at state facilities. Additionally, the budget will make critical improvements to Selfridge Air Force Base in Macomb County, invest in Innovate Mound, a transformative project to rebuild Mound Road, one of the most important corridors in Southeast Michigan, and fund modernize Michigan’s armories, shoring up our readiness and supporting local construction jobs.