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MDOT to slide Lowell bridge into place

10:15 PM, Jan 8, 2014   |    comments
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LOWELL, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan Department of Transportation plans to replace the bridge on M-50 over I-96 in Lowell, but the improvements aren't the biggest news, it's how the bridge is being built.

Charlie Stein, Project Manager says, "It's a new type of construction that we're using in Michigan." For the first time in Michigan, a new bridge will be slid into place. "We'll be sliding the bridge into place by building adjacent to the old bridge, demolishing the old bridge, and sliding the new one into place."

The bridge will be built on a steel beam, then once it's finished, a jack will put it into place. That means detours and shut downs will be minimized.

"The bridge will be in service almost the entire time except for when the old bridge is demolished and the new bridge is slid into place."

While it's new to Michigan, the procedure has been done all over the country. "The railroads have done it quite a bit, but I think there's been about 32 bridge slides throughout the U.S.," said Stein.

But the convenience will come with a cost: contractors are expected to charge more. "It probably will cost a little more because it's one of the first ones done in the state so there is a premium price you pay for something new," said Stein.

If everything goes as planned, construction of the new bridge will begin in March.

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