Repaired bridge to open in October

Published 9:20 am Monday, August 24, 2009

Niles Daily Star

CASSOPOLIS – The Redfield Street bridge over the Christiana Creek in Ontwa Township that has been closed for repairs since June is slated for temporary reconstruction beginning in September and will take one month to complete the job.

Chairman LeRoy Krempec said Thursday night after the Board of Commissioners meeting the county is not expected to have the $900,000 to be able to afford to replace the span until 2012.

The repair project was announced Thursday during a meeting of the Cass County Road Commission by Chief Engineer Joseph Bellina III.

The engineer said a contractor has been selected and is ready to go.

He said plans are for repairs to be done separately on each side of the bridge, east and west, to allow diversion of the stream, according to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulations.

Initially, all brush and guardrail in the vicinity of the bridge will be removed to allow room for the repairs, he said.

Diversion of the stream will be accomplished by placing rip-rap dike structures up and downstream of the bridge to isolate the side to be repaired from moving water.

Lightweight sheeting will be driven along the outlet side of the bridge to create a toe wall to protect the structure from future scour and to provide necessary conditions for grouting the voids under the structure.

This is done to fill space to create a stable foundation.

After this procedure with the sheeting to be left in place, the dike structures will then be adjusted with similar repairs to be done on the other side of the bridge.

The rip-rap dikes will then be used to armor the upstream approach to the bridge.
Bellina explained while water flow through the east side of the structure is restricted, the missing interior wall section will be replaced. Then several gaps in the box structure ceiling will be closed off by wooden planking.

After structure repairs are complete, it will be re-evaluated by the bridge inspection firm currently under contract to report its soundness and to suggest if weight restrictions are necessary.

Bellina said it was discussed that a school bus will not overburden the bridge but something heavier, like a grain truck, may. There will likely be weight restrictions.
Bellina noted once the structure has been approved to reopen, new guardrails will be installed, using both new pieces and some pieces from road commission stock.
The total request for repairs is $70,250, which was approved by the board with Commissioner Roger Bowser absent.

In other areas, the commission discussed the Gumwood Road-Redfield Street corridor with Manager Louis Csokasy, noting that Milton Township tabled a tentative plan to improve the intersection.

Csokasy said there are no recommendations from the township. It was noted Gumwood Road is an urban collector with 6,000 vehicles going through the intersection in a day’s time. “It’s a terrible intersection,” he said.

Csokasy reported 46 of 79 contracts have been completed so far.

Five bids were opened for a new grader ranging in prices from $109,000 to $204,400.
They were referred to the manager for evaluation.