Bay City’s Liberty Bridge will likely not be open by Fourth of July, crews found more problems

Liberty Bridge in Bay City under construction.
Liberty Bridge in Bay City under construction.(Bay City Bridge Partners)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:04 PM EDT
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BAY CITY, Mich. (WNEM) - The Liberty Bridge in Bay City will not be open in time for the Fourth of July holiday because crews repairing have found more problems than they were expecting.

Every year the Bay City fireworks festival draws hundreds of thousands of spectators.

“Our goal was to have that completed by the Fourth of July celebrations here in the city,” said General Manager of Bay City Bridge Partners Lynn Pavlawk.

Many residents travel over the closed Liberty Bridge.

“Our intent has always been to maintain the bridge in an open, open to traffic. Unfortunately, there were some issues back in the early spring, the February time frame,” Pavlawk said.

Pavlawk said potholes and areas of deterioration forced its closure.

“It just wasn’t safe to have vehicles traveling over that,” Pavlawk said.

While workers deconstruct the south bound lanes, the bridge is closed to all traffic and will stay that way until at least after the fireworks festival.

“Some of the mechanical components were in a state of repair that we had not anticipated. So, we had to do some more work on some of the mechanical components as well as, some areas that were not constructed as they were shown on the plans that we had received,” Pavlawk said.

The unforeseen issues added weeks to their construction plans.

Pavlawk said they hope to open a couple of lanes of traffic in August, so cars can at least pass through. The entirety of the bridge isn’t expected to be completed until the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

When the bridge does open, Pavlawk points to upgrades she thinks residents and visitors will be excited about.

An upgraded mechanical system, a modernized bridge tender tower, LED lighting, and flag poles.

“It really will be a beautiful piece of architecture here in the community when it’s complete,” Pavlawk said.

Bay City Bridge Partners updates the bridge’s progress on their website here.