Future of two Bay City bridges in limbo - WNEM TV 5

Future of two Bay City bridges in limbo

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Source: baycitymi.org Source: baycitymi.org

The future of two Bay City bridges is in limbo.

Nearly $6 million in repairs need to be made to the Liberty and Independence Bridges over the next five years.

The bridges are more than 40 years old and the cost for maintenance for the structures is rising fast.

City leaders said closing either bridge is a last resort, but officials are now considering their options.

Repairs include sidewalk re-pavement as well as fixing worn down parts of guard rails.

Reconstruction of the bridges is not expected to start until 2020. 

"I drive over them every day," said William Bohlen, director of Public Works. "At this point for me, no, maintenance is not an option."

When Bohlen shared the information at the city commission meeting on Monday, the idea of closing one of the bridges was brought up. City Manager Rick Finn said that would be a last resort.

"We will look at that as an option, but there's a lot of other things before we get to that point that we're going to be examining," Finn said.

He said there are a lot of people who use the bridges every day who aren't residents of Bay City. Yet, Bay City pays all the costs to maintain the bridges. Finn is hoping Bay County and the state of Michigan could pay their fair share as well.

"We think that there's a better way of doing this. We'll be examining different options that we might have, maybe different partnerships. Maybe a different way to fund for those future maintenance costs, so on and so forth," Finn said.

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