Inspections reveal that the Bridge in Depot Town, Ypsilantis, is cracked, in poor repair, and needs to be replaced
According to three years of bridge safety reports, a bridge across the Huron River at the heart of Ypsilanti's Depot Town sits on sloping riverbed and has cracked beams, among other deteriorated features, prompting inspectors to recommend replacement for several years in varying circumstances.
On Tuesday, Oct. 19, city council approved a replacement study, one of the first steps toward constructing neoprenorio bridge, which is slated to cost more than $7 million, according to officials.
According to city Project Manager Bonnie Wessler, that study, which will cost the city $62,300, is one of the keys to unlocking federal and state money for a new bridge as well as ensuring any new construction meets the requirements of this city.
According to the annual inspection reports, the most recent dated Aug. 26, that Wessler shared with MLive/The Ann Arbor News, its a high priority that the bridge, built in 1984, be replaced.
The reports, which were written in technical language by a special civil engineer, state that beams, railings and sidewalks are cracked and the concrete is chipping.
Its the city s responsibility to secure funds to maintain and replace the bridge, a big-ticket item that will likely require state and federal assistance, which officials are pursuing.
But for many of those grants or cost-sharing arrangements, the city will need a detailed timeline and construction details for the new bridge.
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Thats where the replacement study comes in. It will help keep track of the many moving parts and keep costs down while also ensuring that the new bridge will meet the city's traffic and pedestrian needs, Wessler said.
According to city documents, OHM Advisors, a planning firm, will perform 'a topographic survey, identify any environmental impacts, and develop, with.a preliminary cost estimate, an ambitious road-bridge alignment plan'.
The study will also ensure that the Tridge, a three-way foot bridge under the Cross Street bridge that is part of Washtenaw Countys Border-to-Border Trail, remains secure, Wessler said.
According to OHMs cost proposal, the city will receive the report by June 30, 2022.
Its no secret that most of Michigan s bridges are actually in decent to poor condition, Wessler said, noting the high costs associated with rehabilitating the vital pieces of infrastructure.
The Cross Street bridge, according to infrastructure watchdogs, is none of the case.
In a 2018 report card, the American Society of Civil Engineers assigned the states bridges 'mediocre' C- grade, noting that the number of bridge repairs that are in poor condition will continue to rise.
Inspectors have reduced the weight rating on the Cross Street bridge in Ypsilanti to prolong its life, and it should remain safe if those guidelines are followed, Wessler said.
Were optimistic about being able to replace this before we have to shut it down, she said.
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