Bridge overhaul on M-65

LONG RAPIDS TOWNSHIP – Motorists can expect minor traffic delays on M-65 throughout the summer as a work crew replaces a bridge just south of the Maple Lane Road intersection.

The bridge, which spans the north branch of the Thunder Bay River, needed replacing as the river had begun to erode the base of the center column, John Kramer, assistant construction engineer at Michigan Department of Transportation’s Alpena Transportation Service Center, said.

“Water has been eroding at the pier over the years because it’s concrete,” he said.

Work on the project, which is estimated to cost $2.678 million, started on Feb. 19, Kramer said. The current bridge has steel beams, which will be replaced with prestressed concrete, Kramer said. When it’s done, the new bridge will be 40 feet wider as well. Both 40-foot spans will be replaced with two 60-foot spans.

The project should be completed before Labor Day, Kramer said. In the meantime, traffic across the bridge will be cut down to one lane controlled by temporary traffic signals.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.