Bridge Construction Projects to Begin this Month in Meridian Township

Bridge Construction Projects to Begin 
this Month in Meridian Township

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Ingham Country Road Department (ICRD) will begin two major bridge construction projects in Meridian Township in March.

Currently, the outer lane of southbound Okemos Road between Hamilton and Mount Hope Roads has been closed since November. A decision made by the ICRD after their bi-annual bridge inspection.

The inspection revealed that the bridge is deteriorated to the point where heavy vehicle traffic needs to be restricted. The repair work is expected to begin on March 14, weather permitted, and is expected to be completed by early June.

"During the actual construction work we are going to need to close both lanes of the bridge, right now just the outer southbound lane is closed to keep heavy truck traffic off that outer lane. During the repair work we are going to be working on the whole bridge and both southbound lanes will be closed," says Bill Conklin, Managing Director of the ICRD.

Motorists will be instructed to take a detour from Mount Hope Road to Hagadorn Road and North Grand River Ave in order to get back to Okemos Road. Conklin expects this detour to add 10 to 15 minutes to total trip time depending on traffic conditions.

The ICRD set a low bid of $250,000.00 for the repair work but that price could fluctuate based on quantities since it is a unit-price bid. Conklin says this is just one of many construction projects Okemos Road will see in the future.

"The repair work will keep the bridge surface-able for a 5 to 10-year timeframe in which then we will apply for a larger grant to fully replace both the Northbound and Southbound bridges with one bridge that will carry four lanes of traffic," says Conklin.

Last year the ICRD closed the northbound lane of the Marsh Road Bridge between Franklin and Haslett Roads. It was reconstructed because of the deteriorating road due to the 51 year old structure.

This year's construction project will be a replacement of the bridge's superstructure including the decking beams.

Conklin said that the repair project will have traffic handling similar to the repair project done on the bridge last year to keep it open during the winter.

"That is going to involve maintaining two lane two way traffic on one side of the bridge, while the other half of the bridge is under construction," said Conklin.

The project is scheduled to begin on Mar. 21 and be completed in mid August. The repairs will not include abutments and piers. Construction will begin on the east side of the bridge while the west side of the bridge is reconstructed. Then traffic will be on the new bridge while the east side of the bridge is reconstructed.

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