Area bridges set for summer repairs
MANISTIQUE – Repairs and replacements will begin this summer on three county bridges, according to a county road commission official. The design phase on a fourth, the Cope Bridge on County Road 440, took place this winter, with replacement set for 2014.
Craig Kelso, engineer/ manager for the road commission, explained four county bridges will be repaired using an approximately $3.5 million grant from the Michigan Local Bridge Program. Funding for three bridges was awarded in 2008, with the fourth bridge receiving funds in 2010. The funds could not be obligated until the 2012- 13 fiscal year, allowing recipients a chance to obtain necessary items, such as permits.
According to Kelso, the commission renewed and then refinanced an existing 10-year-old bond on the road commission building on East Road, to pay the match on the grants. The grant consists of 80 percent federal funds, 15 percent from state funds, and 5 percent match from the commission.
With the grant funds, the Ten Curves Bridge on County Road 498, in Germfask, and the Cope Bridge will be replaced. The bridges on Railroad Street, on County Road 450, over the Fox River in Seney, and Taylor Dam Road, over the Fox River, will be repaired. According to Kelso, the engineering firm hired by the commission just finished up the design phase of the Cope Bridge replacement, which included collecting soil data and assessing hydraulics and flow characteristics.
“We are working to design a structure capable of providing the service needed at that location,” he said.
Construction is expected to begin next year, and, as of right now, little is known of the effect the replacement will have on residents and tourists.
“The replacement should last for one construction season, and traffic will be detoured,” Kelso explained. “We are expecting to provide some type of navigational opening for the waterway, but this is undetermined at this time.”
The other bridge projects on the commission’s list were put out to bid in March, Kelso said, with Hebert Construction coming in as the low bidder. All three will be under construction this summer.
“Detours will be in effect once the seasonal weight restrictions are lifted,” he explained. “Hopefully, we will start to see some action soon, but, until then, the bridges will remain open.”