State Road bridge work suffers setback

Other projects wrapping up

Tim Barnum
Rust on a beam has delayed the Pine River bridge project, shown here on Oct. 28.
File photo
The Pine River bridge, shown here earlier in the project, is likely to take a couple of weeks longer to be completed.

STANDISH TWP. — Completing work on the Pine River bridge on State Road is expected to take a couple of weeks longer due to a rusty beam delivered to the work site, according to Arenac County Road Commission Superintendent Blair Dyer.

“We found some rust in one of the stringers on the beams that go across,” he said. “So that’s going to set them back a little bit.”

Dyer said the project on State Road was supposed to be completed at the end of October. Using the rusted beam would have prevented the bridge from supporting at full strength, Dyer said.

“It was compromising the strength, so they figured they’d better fix it,” he said.

Dyer said when the crew from John Henry Excavating, of East Tawas, was sandblasting and painting the bridge’s beams, it discovered the rust spot.

The new beam is going to add approximately $29,000 to the project, bringing the total to roughly $550,000, Dyer said. The project cost was estimated at approximately $519,000 before the setback, Dyer added. All but 5 percent of the original project cost was covered by a grant from Michigan’s Critical Bridge Fund.

While the State Road project, which started in July, will take a little longer to finish up, drivers who frequent Melita Road will no longer have to deal with a detour. The guardrail installation and curb and shoulder work that started after Labor Day is mostly finished and the road has been opened for through traffic again.

Dyer said lines have to be painted on the stretch of road that received the work, but that is the final step remaining.

The Melita Road project included a new guardrail, paved shoulders and the installation of catch basins to capture runoff and prevent erosion. It cost about $220,000 with $190,000 funded by a federal safety grant, according to Dyer.

A $580,000 road project on Lincoln Road that started in early October is also nearly completed. The project included pulverizing pavement from Sterling Road to Townline Road and then the addition of new asphalt. Federal gas tax monies covered all but 40 percent of the project. The road commission and the village of Sterling split 40 percent of the project cost, according to Dyer.

He said the project should be done by early or mid-November.

“They’re putting another coat on (Monday) — another layer of asphalt,” he said. “But I think in a week or two, they’ll have that all wrapped up too.”


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