New $26 million bridge marks engineering first
A new bridge is set to be moved from a Wayne State parking lot into its new home above I-94 sometime next month.
Why it matters: The $26 million Second Avenue bridge is part of a I-94 modernization project to rebuild more than 70 bridges in poor condition.
The intrigue: The bridge is going to be placed over I-94 using self propelled modular transporters. Engineers will lift the bridge using hydraulic jacks, then drive the SPMTs into place before setting the bridge onto them and moving it to 1-94.
- The move is an engineering first in Michigan and will join just a handful of structures throughout the U.S. to be installed using the process, David Harris, a senior construction engineer at MDOT, said in a recent community forum.
Details: MDOT identified the highly used bridge as a "community connector" and designed it with enhanced, nonmotorized accommodations and aesthetic improvements.
- The new structure will have one driving lane in each direction, modern landscaping, roadway level lighting and a wider sidewalk to enhance movement across the bridge.
- The bridge will also be illuminated on the outside of its arch cables, "providing a pretty dramatic look during evening hours," Mark Smith, an MDOT project engineer, said at the forum.
What's next: : MDOT is planning to start the move on July 10 with an open date sometime in August.
- I-94 will be closed in both directions between I-75 and M-10 (Lodge Freeway) for seven days and then again for another five days to ensure safety.
- "It's going to take a lot of time before we're very comfortable with being able to open to traffic," Harris said.
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