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W. Front Street Bridge Construction

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, September 17, 2021

September 17, 2021 - 

Through careful planning, the City of Traverse City began major bridgework throughout the City in June 2021. The infrastructure improvements include the bridges on Park Street, S. Cass Street, E. Eighth Street, and W. Front Street.

City staff is coordinating the project with MDOT’s Traverse City TSC and Local Agency Bridge program, the City’s municipal utilities and public services, DDA, State and Federal agencies, property owners, and water recreation businesses. The projects are being funded by the MDOT Local Bridge Fund ($5.2 Million), City Funds ($361,000), City Municipal Utility Funds ($680,000), and DDA TIF Funds ($681,000).  The rehabilitation of the Park Street, S. Cass Street, and E. Eighth Street bridges were bundled as one package to provide more competitive pricing from contractors that specialize in this type of infrastructure projects. The reconstruction of the W. Front Street Bridge was bid separately.

“As we embark on the fourth bridge project this season, three rehabilitations and one reconstruction, it is important to recognize that these projects are critical to maintaining the City’s major infrastructure. Developing increased amenities into each of the projects such as pedestrian scale lighting and wider sidewalks will make the projects even more attractive for multi-modal transportation methods. We are aware of the inconvenience, but ask the public to please recognize that these infrastructure improvements will serve the community well for decades to come” says City Manager, Martin Colburn. “In addition, staff has worked diligently to prepare for the rehabilitation of the three projects and the reconstruction of the W. Front Street bridge, and bundling the bridges together from a construction standpoint, has provided a project large enough to attract bridge contractors to bid our project and allows us to complete the work in the shortest amount of time possible,” says City Engineer Tim Lodge.

W. Front Street Bridge

Beginning September 17, 2021, site preparation will begin for the W. Front Street Bridge. The bridge will close to all traffic beginning September 27, 2021.  The project will include bridge removal and replacement and an extension of a watermain. Vehicular parking will be maintained along the bridge on the north and south sides. Amenities will include expansion of the sidewalk from the existing 7.5’ width to 11’-17’ in width with a traditional streetscape that includes pedestrian scale lighting and street trees. Aesthetic treatments on the end walls and a fascia to resemble an arch will also be incorporated.  Vehicular traffic detour signage will be placed in the area. The pedestrian detour will utilize the pedestrian bridge over the Boardman River at Pine Street, to Garland Street, and Hall Street. The W. Front Street Bridge project will be closed throughout the winter and is anticipated to be completed in June 2022.

Park Street Bridge

On June 2, 2021, site preparation began for the Park Street Bridge. The bridge opened to pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Thursday, September 2, 2021. Short term closures are expected to finalize minor items on the bridge. The project included the construction of new bridge deck and an increased sidewalk width to 9.5’ from the existing width of 6’ – 4 ½”. Pedestrian scale lighting and traditional streetscape were also included in the project.

S. Cass Street Bridge

The S. Cass Street Bridge construction began on June 14, 2021. The project includes bridge removal and replacement.  Amenities include a decorative pedestrian railing and traditional streetscape. An effort to maintain the historic character of the original bridge through the rehabilitation to remove the wood sidewalk and railing will be made.  The S. Cass Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

E. Eighth Street Bridge

The E. Eighth Street Bridge construction began on July 26, 2021. The project includes the replacement of the bridge deck and extension of a watermain transmission line. Additional amenities incorporated into the project include the extension of the cycle track to connect with the existing bike lanes, increased width of the sidewalk, decorative railings, and an aesthetic double arch fascia. The sidewalk under the bridge will be elevated and lighting will be installed. The E. Eighth Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

The construction will generate dust and noise. Traffic delays are expected. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is asked to follow the detour signage.. The Boardman River will continue to be closed to traffic during the weekdays and open on the weekends as much as possible. Businesses in the affected areas will remain open and will easily be accessed by utilizing the pedestrian detours.

To learn more about upcoming bridgework and view project updates and detour information, visit