Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel points at a sign outlining the state of bridge construction projects across the county. Lenox Township Supervisor Anthony Reeder Jr. stands behind him.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel points at a sign outlining the state of bridge construction projects across the county. Lenox Township Supervisor Anthony Reeder Jr. stands behind him.

Photo by Dean Vaglia

Macomb County to replace, repair more than 20 bridges

By: Dean Vaglia | Macomb Chronicle | Published August 10, 2022


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel highlighted upcoming bridge repair and replacement projects throughout the county at a press conference on Aug. 5.

Joined by Macomb Township Supervisor Frank Viviano, Lenox Township Supervisor Anthony Reeder Jr. and representatives from the Macomb County Department of Roads, Hackel outlined the county’s goals and obstacles at one of the upcoming project sites, a bridge spanning the Clinton River’s North Branch, in Macomb Township.

“I credit the Department of Roads,” Hackel said. “They’re the ones out there trying to make sure we’re doing what we do as far as maintenance. If we have to shut a bridge down, we’ll shut it down because of safety issues. But more importantly, they’re out there trying to figure out how we’re going to match money (for repairs) whether it’s state (or) federal funding, or even if there is some type of local match.”

Of the 225 bridges that fall under county authority, 81 are considered in need of repair. Of that number, 22 have received the funding necessary for the repairs or removal, while funding requests have been put in for 10 of them. A total of 49 bridges remain in need of funding.

“The majority of the funding we get is state and local funding for bridges,” Hackel said. “Just recently … we did just get some funding from the state. MDOT had looked at the bridges around the state, and they identified (by) priority. (I’m) wishing we had enough funding to deal with all the bridges around Macomb County or the state of Michigan, (but) it’s just not going to happen.”

The 25 Mile Road bridge is one of several bridges Hackel says the county has been pushing for; another one is a bridge along 28 Mile Road in Lenox Township. The 25 Mile Road bridge will be a full replacement with design work beginning in 2023 and construction starting in 2024, while the 28 Mile Road bridge’s replacement is undetermined.

Five bridges are scheduled for replacement in 2023: the Coon Creek Road bridge, in Armada Township; the North River Road, South River Road and West Archer Drive bridges, in Harrison Township; and the New Haven Road bridge, in Chesterfield Township. Work on 11 other bridges is expected to begin by at least 2024. Four bridges are scheduled for replacement, while eight will be subject to preventive maintenance. Three bridge projects have been completed in 2022, and five more are scheduled to begin in August and September.

To Viviano, the roadways in Macomb Township “are part of what we need to survive in this community.”

“We’ve added over 40,000 residents in the past 20 years,” Viviano said. “We have grown explosively. It puts a big strain on these roads in this system.”

The 25 Mile Road bridge closure has shifted traffic onto detour routes, which puts additional strain on those streets. Replacing the bridge will also increase public safety by allowing crews from the fire station on the bridge’s west end to use more direct routes to fires in the eastern side of the township, and it will allow local farmers to move vehicles across the river without impeding busier routes.

Built in the 1960s to support cars and trucks, Viviano expressed interest in the new bridge including space for pedestrian traffic.

“I’m going to look into (pedestrian access) to see if it is something we should be planning for now,” Viviano said. “We’re going to work with the roads department, and I’m going to have our township engineer make sure that, if there is any part of this project that we should be doing before or while the bridge is being worked on, then we should go ahead and step up and get that work done.”

The remaining 144 bridges under county authority still in working condition are being watched by the Department of Roads. Bridges are subject to biennial inspections with weight restrictions and closures determined by deterioration level. Bridge inspections are currently contracted out to Spicer Group.