January 28, 2020

Road Commission nearing completion of bridge on 9 Mile Rd


ADAMS TWP — The Arenac County Road Commission is working toward putting the finishing touches on a bridge on 9 Mile Rd near the Brennan Rd intersection.

The bridge is the first to be constructed in the county without a contractor. Road Commission Chairman Ken Stawowy said that, given how well the project has gone overall, there are plans for the road commission to build more in the future.

“The bridge that we’re doing, we’re doing with our own forces,” Stawowy said. “In the next few years, we’ll be building several more of them.”

Stawowy said that the project began just after Labor Day and is expected to be wrapped up in early November. He said that in total the project, which was originally expected to cost up to $275,000, will end up running just over at an estimated $280,000, paid for out of the road commission’s general fund.

Being able to handle construction of the bridge has proven cost effective versus bringing in a contractor.

“We would have been looking at a cost of $600,000-plus, so it’s a considerable savings when we can do it with our own forces,” Stawowy said.

While construction was somewhat delayed due to the need to address and resolve minor issues in the plan to meet Michigan Department of Environmental Quality regulations, Stawowy said that the project has moved along quickly, as the county has not been dependent upon a contractor’s schedule.

Even so, Stawowy said that cost and time of completion of the project have been somewhat hindered by the county’s learning curve. He said that they will improve upon this in future bridge projects.

The bridge is a Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System (GRS), which Stawowy said was a good choice, as it does not require a culvert, and the DEQ required they use a bridge with a natural, open bottom.

“It’s a new type of construction to us, but not necessarily new to the industry,” Stawowy said. “Midland County is the nearest county to us to have several of these bridges, but they’re used widely across the U.S.”

Stawowy said that he expects the bridge to be open to traffic by November, though asphalt will still need to be laid by the county’s contractor, Bolen Asphalt Paving, Inc.

“All that is left is going to be building the road bed up and doing the landscaping, the slope restoration and the overlay over the top,” Stawowy said.


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