ALPENA — Greater than 15 months after reconstruction of the Bagley Avenue Bridge started, contractors put the ending touches on the bridge Thursday morning and it opened to site visitors later that day.
The $10.three million venture started in February of final 12 months and was partially open by the winter months when building was halted. It closed once more in April so crews may end the job.
The unique deliberate completion date was December of final 12 months.
The venture confronted some delays because of the COVID-19 pandemic and laborious limestone, found throughout floor drilling work, forcing minor changes to the bridge design on a number of events.
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Alpena County Freeway Fee Managing Director Ryan Brege mentioned crews have been laborious at work Thursday morning to open the bridge and make it match for site visitors.
“There was a number of coordination to get it open in the present day,” Brege mentioned. “We had to verify the contractor was 100% prepared earlier than permitting site visitors, as a result of we did not wish to open it up after which shut it down once more.”
The bridge has been utterly renovated and the brand new bridge deck doubles in width and features a mixed-use flip lane, sidewalk and walkway. Brege mentioned the construction is full, however there’s easy cleanup work to finish within the subsequent few days.
“They’re nonetheless engaged on some landscaping outdoors the bridge and the lighting nonetheless must be finalized,” he mentioned. “There are some everlasting indicators as we communicate, however the bridge itself is completed.”
Brege beforehand informed The Information that the bridge will extra simply deal with the amount of site visitors he crosses every day. He mentioned a median of 15,000 automobiles cross the bridge every day, the next site visitors quantity than when the bridge was first in-built 1976.
Brege mentioned the bridge’s life expectancy is 75 years with routine upkeep.
When the venture was introduced, the Freeway Fee provided the general public a alternative: shut the bridge for one 12 months to finish the complete venture, or shut the bridge to 1 lane for 2 years and full the work round site visitors.
Correspondence with the Freeway Fee indicated that folks needed to complete the venture as shortly as attainable, so the one-year choice was chosen.
Surprising challenges from the pandemic, a provide chain difficulty and limestone may have made the venture tough, however Brege mentioned the venture went easily total and the neighborhood has a bridge that’s secure.
“I actually recognize individuals’s persistence and understanding,” he mentioned. “We did not need it to enter a second 12 months any greater than anybody else, however we needed to verify the bridge was constructed accurately and to spec. We did not wish to take shortcuts.”
The reopening of the bridge ought to ease site visitors to Chisholm Avenue and 11th Avenue, the place a detour has been established to keep away from the development zone. Whereas the bridge was closed, there have been many crashes alongside the bypass.
Funding for the venture got here from state and federal grants, in addition to essential matching cash from the Freeway Fee.