GARAND ZEALAND, Michigan (GRES) – On Monday, the state announced a new program to bring together 19 bridge replacement projects to improve efficiency.

The program is designed to help streamline permitting, reduce costs and more effectively manage projects using a single company to build.

In Western Michigan, three projects are planned: the Byron Road Bridge in Ottawa County, the Maple Island Road Bridge in Muskegon County, and the Notaway Road Bridge in St. Joseph County.

Alex Dotti, communications administrator for the Ottawa County Road Commission, says the project will have a significant impact.

“This year for the pilot they have 19 bridges across the state, one of which is here in Ottawa County. And what it does is it saves on scale and increases efficiency so that such bridges can be designed and built using similar materials, ”Doti said.

The Byron Road Bridge is under weight restriction due to the condition of the structure. The project is scheduled for March 7 and will last 90 days.

Photos of the Byron Road Bridge in the city of Zealand will be replaced by an add-on starting March 7 as part of the new association’s pilot program. (February 28, 2022)

The crews will begin work on Maple Island Road in Muskegon County in June and are expected to last 60 days.

The MDOT pilot program focuses on rural bridges owned by counties or local governments, according to MDOT Deputy Chief Engineer for Bridges Rebecca Curtis.

“There are a lot of bridges in the local agency system that are serious and critical, so it’s worse than the poor. This is about 6% of their reserves, ”Curtis said.

Crews will replace the superstructure, which is the top of the bridge.

“We were trying to standardize the types of add-ons to overcome quickly,” Curtis said.

The Ottawa County Road Commission has been willing to work on the bridge for several years and appreciates the funding.

“We wouldn’t be able to handle so many of them and do so much work if we had to do it ourselves because the cost is very high when you look at the design of the bridge,” Dottie said.

The state created Fr. web page so residents can follow the progress of the pilot bridge association program.

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