Roads commission seeks grants to replace and rehabilitate bridges

Once again, the Huron County Road Commission is seeking grants to potentially help rehabilitate or replace four county bridges.

The Huron County Board of Commissioners provided support for grant applications through the Federal and Local Bridge Program for Bridges.

These bridges are:

  • The Haist Road Bridge over the Pigeon River in Winsor Township.
  • The Hartsell Road Bridge over the East Arm of the Pigeon River in Grant Township.
  • The Moore Road Bridge over the East Arm of the Pigeon River in Grant Township.
  • The Stoddard Road Bridge over the East Arm of Willow Creek in Huron Township.

Of these four bridges, the Haist Road Bridge is the only one back for which the Highways Commission requested last year.

Erik Tamlyn, the county highways engineer, said this year’s bidding process will be different from last year, with a maximum number of four bridges the highways commission could apply for.

There will be approximately $9 million available for each of the seven regions that make up the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Local Agencies Bridge Program, of which Huron County is in a 15-county region centered on Saginaw Bay. While $9 million may seem like a lot of money, Tamlyn said when spread across 15 counties and the varying rehabilitation and replacement costs from bridge to bridge, it shows a lot of need.

“Money is tight right now, so you’re lucky to have one structure, let alone four,” Tamlyn said.

Tamlyn said the cost of building bridges has increased due to rising material and labor costs, and the industry is already busy repairing many bridges.

This grant application process is for fiscal year 2025, so all selected projects will not have work done until then.

The Stoddard Road Bridge was built in 1978 and has girders and pillars in poor condition, with bridge rehabilitation proposed.

The Hartsell Road Bridge was built in 1947 and has disrepaired steel abutments and girders and a narrow roadway width. It is proposed to replace it.

The Moore Road Bridge was built in 1925 and was rehabilitated in 1962. It currently has poor condition steel abutments and girders and has a narrow carriageway width. It is proposed to replace it.

The Haist Road Bridge was built in 1987, its piers are in poor condition, and concrete patches and preventative maintenance are planned to repair it.

Last year, the only bridge the county applied for and was accepted for was the Notter Road Bridge which crosses the Pigeon River. Repairs to this bridge will cost approximately $260,000, 90% of which will come from federal funds and the rest from local sources. The work will not take place before 2024.

Tamlyn said the bridges chosen to be considered for the grants had to meet certain condition rankings such as being in poor condition, the functionality of a bridge and the amount of traffic using the bridges.

“When selecting bridges, they look at how heavily they are used by motorists,” Tamlyn said. “Traffic is important when securing federal and state aid for bridge financing.”

An announcement for which bridges have received the grant is not expected until this fall, with applications due April 4 and reviewed over the summer by local and state-level bridge councils.

Since 1987, this program has helped replace over 50 bridges in Huron County.

About Christopher Easley

Check Also

Oregon man pleads guilty to destruction of Planned Parenthood property | Takeover bid

An Oregon man pleaded guilty today to twice smashing windows and destroying property at a …