FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2021
CONTACT: Rob Morosi, MDOT Office of Communications, 248-483-5107
Bridge demolition requires closing a
portion of I-75 this weekend in Detroit
– MDOT is repairing 12 bridges on I-75 between Meade Avenue and 7 Mile Road.
– Demolition work on Meade Avenue requires closing both directions of I-75 between I-94 and M-8 (Davison Freeway).
– The closure starts at 9 p.m. Friday and ends by 5 a.m. Monday.
July 28, 2021 — Weather permitting, demolition of the Meade Avenue overpass above I-75 is scheduled to take place this weekend in Detroit. To safely accomplish this work, contracting crews will close both directions of I-75 between I-94 and M-8 (Davison Freeway) from 9 p.m. Friday, July 30, to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 2.
During the closure, northbound I-75 traffic will be detoured to westbound I-94, then northbound M-10 (Lodge Freeway) to eastbound M-102 (Eight Mile Road) back to northbound I-75. The McNichols Road and 7 Mile Road entrance ramps to northbound I-75 will be available for local traffic.
Southbound I-75 traffic will be detoured to westbound M-8, then southbound M-10 back to southbound I-75. The Caniff and Holbrook avenues and Clay Street entrance ramps to southbound I-75 will be available for local traffic.
This work is part of extensive bridge repair on 12 structures over I-75 between Meade Avenue and 7 Mile Road. During active work, two lanes of I-75 will be open in each direction between 8 Mile Road and Meade Avenue. The project includes repairing the structures at the I-75/M-8 interchange that will result in ramp closures throughout the season. The eastbound M-8 ramp to northbound I-75 will be closed for the duration of the project.
All work on this $13 million investment is expected to be completed in late November.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dan Weingarten, MDOT Office of Communications, 906-250-4809
MDOT dashboard tracks bridge bundling pilot program
July 26, 2021 — The public now has a new online tool to track the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) initiative to bundle bridge projects together to make them more cost-effective, and to address multiple local agency bridges under one project.
MDOT expects bridge bundling, which covers several bridge locations under one contract, to streamline coordination and permitting, increase economies of scale, and improve bridge conditions on local routes around the state. MDOT is working to expand the approach, already in use on state trunkline projects, to address locally owned bridges.
A pilot project, the first of its kind in Michigan, encompasses 19 bridge locations on locally owned bridges. The new online dashboard at Michigan.gov/BridgeBundling provides project updates and shows percent completion, detour routes, and other information for each of these projects. MDOT expects to provide photos during the construction process, as well.
”The pilot includes 19 local agency-owned bridges around the state with major bridge elements in serious or critical condition.” said MDOT Chief Bridge Engineer Matt Chynoweth. ”The scope of work for these bridges is superstructure replacement, which includes full removal and replacement of the bridge deck and supporting beams. Under the pilot program, three bridges will be rebuilt this year, beginning in August. The contract requirements call for them to be finished in 60 or 90 days.”
The three bridges slated to be rebuilt this year are:
The remaining 16 bridges are scheduled to be built in 2022 and 2023. During this time, all bridges will be closed and detoured as requested by the local agencies. Chynoweth said the projects will stay largely within the existing bridge ”footprints” with minor road work to accommodate new bridge elevations or changes in cross-section to meet current geometric requirements.
By combining several contracts into one, bridge bundling allows one contractor, or one group of contractors, to work on multiple bridges in several locations, simultaneously, if needed. This can bring taxpayer savings through the standardization of bridge components and mobilization costs. The contract for the pilot program was awarded in March to a joint venture of two bridge contractors, CA Hull and Anlaan, with Alfred Benesch as the lead designer, for the low bid of $24.3 million.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded MDOT nearly $978,000 to further its bridge bundling efforts on local agency routes, developing a framework for expanding the program. This grant was one of only seven awarded nationwide.
MDOT estimates $2 billion is required just to get all state-owned bridges up to good or fair condition, and another $1.5 billion to do the same for all local agency-owned bridges. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is seeking $300 million in a Fiscal Year 2021 supplemental budget request for the proposed next phase of the bridge bundling program. With this funding, MDOT anticipates the state could rebuild about another 130 bridges, addressing all currently closed local agency bridges and prioritizing repairs on local agency bridges in serious or critical condition.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MDOT director discusses need for infrastructure investment with federal officials in Washington, D.C.
July 22, 2021 — Wednesday, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Paul C. Ajegba wrapped up a three-day visit to Washington, D.C., where he pressed key federal officials on the need for infrastructure investment. He also touted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan efforts in discussions with top executives from mid-American state transportation agencies.
“Our federal legislators and officials, as well as our state counterparts and peers, are crucial partners in our efforts to build secure, resilient, and lasting infrastructure in Michigan,” Ajegba said. “It was an honor to meet in person with our federal partners to discuss the shovel-worthy projects across the state that are part of our governor’s ambitious Rebuilding Michigan program. We also discussed how federal infrastructure dollars could support our work.”
Director Ajegba joined a two-day meeting of the Board of Directors of the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO), where he gathered with regional transportation officials to discuss shared infrastructure challenges and interests, including operating safely through the COVID-19 pandemic. The group also collectively heard from federal officials, including U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) officials.
In a week when Congress is debating a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, including $579 billion in new spending, Ajegba also met with lawmakers to discuss MDOT’s plans and requests for federal infrastructure investment. This includes ways the legislation can support transportation projects across multiple modes.
The director’s visit comes a week after the State of Michigan submitted applications to the USDOT’s 2021 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program. If selected, these projects will build on the state’s commitment to addressing vital infrastructure needs with the support, partnership, and collaboration with federal officials.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rob Morosi, MDOT Office of Communications, 248-483-5107, MorosiR@Michigan.gov
Repairs to damaged I-75 pavement at Big Beaver Road in Troy estimated at $1.5 million after tanker crash and fire
– The July 12 tanker crash and fire resulted in significant damage to the freeway pavement and median barrier wall.
– The estimated cost to rebuild sections of I-75 lanes and wall is estimated at $1.5 million.
– The repairs are anticipated to be completed in six weeks.
July 16, 2021 — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced that repairs to the damaged section of I-75 at Big Beaver Road in Troy is estimated at $1.5 million. All lanes of the freeway and a portion of the median barrier wall were damaged due to a July 12 tanker crash and fire. Those sections of pavement and barrier will be rebuilt, and all costs associated with the incident response, cleanup and repair will be submitted to the carrier’s insurance company for reimbursement.
Currently, I-75 traffic is maintained in the right lane of each direction to allow traffic to move on the freeway while crews rebuild the damaged left lanes, along with the concrete median wall that separates both directions of traffic. Afterward, crews will move to rebuild the right lanes. To minimize expected delays, crews will keep closed the entrance ramps at 14 Mile and Rochester roads to northbound I-75, and the entrance ramps at Crooks Road/Corporate Drive and Big Beaver Road entrance ramps to southbound I-75.
All lanes and ramps are expected to be reopened in six weeks.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kim Nowack, Mackinac Bridge Authority, 906-643-7600
The Mackinac Bridge Walk is back for 2021
July 9, 2021 — The Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) board today enthusiastically confirmed that the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk will go on as scheduled this Labor Day, Sept. 6.
Board members welcomed the end of pandemic restrictions that will allow the event, citing its importance to the Straits area economy and the eagerly anticipated return of a beloved Michigan tradition. The board heard an update from staff today about ongoing preparations for the walk during its regular meeting at Mackinac Island City Hall.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was among the first to celebrate the news.
“The Bridge Walk is back!” said Whitmer. “I am thrilled that the Mackinac Bridge Authority has enabled the Labor Day Bridge Walk, a cherished tradition, to move forward this year. After the year we have all had, I know how excited we are to get back to activities and attending events that we all love. Michigan is putting one foot in front of the other as we continue our economic jumpstart, and I am so glad that we can enjoy this great tradition to close out a Pure Michigan summer.”
The news was welcomed locally as well by Kelly Vieau, administrator of the Greater Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce (GMCCC).
“The GMCCC is excited for the return of the Annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk! For more than 60 years it has been a holiday tradition for many people, young and old,” Vieau said. “The GMCCC business owners and residents are thankful it will continue on this year and hopefully for more years to come.”
Based on the success of the 2018 and 2019 events, the MBA will again start the 2021 Annual Bridge Walk from both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, which eliminates the need for busing and offers additional options for participants. The bridge walk was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A video, posted on the MBA website at www.MackinacBridge.org/Walk, explains the bridge walk schedule and the choices people will have whether they start from the north or south ends of the bridge.
Walkers essentially have three main options, outlined in the video:
– Starting from either end of the bridge and walking toward the center, turning around at the midpoint and returning to the city they started from, where their transportation is located. The turnaround points will move toward the ends of the bridge beginning at 10 a.m., but walkers can walk at least a portion of the bridge if they start by 11:30 a.m. Walkers must be on the side of the bridge they wish to return to before 10 a.m.
– Walking the entire length of the bridge starting from either end. Those who choose this option must reach the midpoint before 10 a.m. or they will be turned back. Anyone who walks the entire bridge must arrange their own transportation back to the side they started once the bridge reopens to public traffic at noon.
– Crossing the bridge, starting from either end, and then turning around and walking back to the side they started from. In this option, walkers will need to cross the midpoint on their return trip by 10 a.m. or they will be turned back and need to find their own transportation back across the bridge after it reopens at noon.
The bridge will again be closed to public traffic during the 2021 walk, from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Labor Day, Sept. 6, based on recommendations from the Michigan State Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Emergency vehicles will still be permitted to cross the bridge, but no public vehicles will be allowed until the walk concludes and participants are off the bridge.
The bridge walk has been an annual event since 1958, with the exception of 2020. The 2021 walk will be the 63rd event. Between 25,000 and 30,000 people have participated in recent years.