2009-10-08 / News

Mackinac Trail Projects Moving Ahead

By Michael Ayala

The Mackinac County Road Commission approved a $12,000 structural analysis of the arch of the Carp River Bridge Tuesday, September 29, to determine if the arch can support an expanded bridge deck. The Road Commission hopes enough of the existing bridge can be salvaged to reduce the cost to replace it by up to $400,000.

Engineers Northwest Design Group will inspect the substructure to determine what elements can be reused. It has been determined that much of the substructure can be rehabilitated, but the study of the bridge arch's deck-bearing capacity will need to be conducted, as well, said Road Commission Manager Dirk Heckman.

The initial estimate to replace the bridge was roughly $753,000, but a construction estimate performed by the firm increased the cost to $1.3 million.

Bidding for the project was anticipated for January or February, but will now be around April. The project should still be completed in the 2010 construction season.

Without the arch study, the Road Commission would have to reapply for additional funding from the Local Bridge Program of the Michigan Department of Transportation, and, even if it were awarded, it would not be available until 2013, Mr. Heckman said.

Northwest Design Group was contracted to design the bridge replacement in 2007 for $40,000. The new work, plus modifying the design to incorporate part of the existing bridge, will raise that cost to $60,000.

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