Officials Look at Future of the Okemos Road Camelback Bridge
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Meridian Township Board held a special meeting last night to cover a couple of topics, including the future of the Camelback Bridge on Okemos Road. The bridge is one of only a few left in the state that have the double hump design, so there's a historical attachment to the bridge. With that being said, the bridge's condition has deteriorated quite a bit recently and will require consistent maintenance throughout the remainder of its' life.
When Ingham County Road Department Managing Director Bill Conklin was asked about the status of the bridge at the meeting , he responded with "it has the bridge equivalent of cancer." While they have done large scale maintenance as recently as 2000, he says that if the bridge is kept in its' current design, that will be a regular thing.
Keeping the bridge in its' original design was one option that was discussed in length. The current design offers pedestrian walkways on both the north bound and south bound bridge, which was noted as a big plus.
Another option was to completely replace the bridge, either with a similar design or completely different. Replacing the bridge with the same camelback style didn't seem to garner much support, but a completely different design did.
The new design presented was a singular bridge instead of the two separate ones for north and south bound. This bridge would have 5 lanes and be much wider than either of the current structures.
The Board has yet to take action on this issue.
The Ingham County Road Department has hired DLZ, Inc., a transportation planning firm, to conduct an Environmental Assessment for planned replacement and/or repair of the aging Okemos Road Bridges over the Red Cedar River north of Mount Hope Road in Meridian Township.
A public information meeting will take place on Thursday, April 25 between 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Township Hall Room of the Meridian Township Municipal Building. Interested persons may attend anytime between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm to view project information, have questions answered by project representatives in attendance and provide input.