A Michigan bridge is closing for three months to undergo repairs costing $1.45 million. Independence Bridge in Bay City will close next month so crews can replace the bascule span deck grating, span stringers and sidewalks, the Bay City Times reported .
The project is being funded through federal, state and local money. The city is covering about $72,500 of the costs while federal funds through the state Department of Transportation will cover the rest of the cost.
Construction is expected to be completed at the end of March. Traffic will be diverted to Liberty Bridge during construction.
The project comes at a time when city officials are considering how to fund future repairs and maintenance to the city's movable bridges. Official estimates project repairs to Independence Bridge and Liberty Bridge will cost $9 million over the next seven years.
The Bay City Commission was scheduled to vote on a proposal this month that would've privatized the bridges, but the item was removed from the agenda after public outcry.
United Bridge Partners proposed paying the city $1 million for the Independence Bridge and the Liberty Bridge. The firm would take over and build a new Independence Bridge while making repairs to Liberty Bridge. The firm would fund all construction and repair costs. It would then charge motorists a toll to cross the bridges after the improvements.
A number of bridge repair projects are planned in Bay City, including a $42.5 million project in 2020 to reconstruct the Lafayette Bridge.