Bay City commissioners approve plan to begin construction on Independence Bridge

Construction will begin soon on Bay City's Independence Bridge.
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 6:57 PM EST
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BAY CITY, Mich. (WNEM) - Bay City commissioners have approved a new plan, setting the stage for work to begin on the Independence Bridge.

“We were very excited and very pleased that it was a unanimous approval of the Independence lease,” said General Manager of Bay City Bridge Partners Lynn Pavlawk. “This means that we can finally get started on the rehabilitation of the bridge.”

Pavlawk tells TV5 the work will begin on the bridge after the first of the year.

“You’ll see some lane closures from one side or the other side of the bridge come January as we start working on the bascule portion of the bridge,” Pavlawk said.

As we reported, the original plan in 2019 called for a new Independence Bridge to be built. Pavlawk tells TV5 because of inflation, constructing a new bridge would have generated significantly higher tolls for the community.

Pavlawk says the idea of rehabbing the bridge was first brought up by Bay City’s independent engineers. After a bit of research, it was decided that was the best way to move forward.

Pavlawk is quick to point out the updated version of the Independence Bridge will be a high-quality upgrade.

“All new deck surfaces, it is going to be all new electrical components, new and upgraded mechanical components or refurbished mechanical components” explained Pavlawk. “Still the latest and greatest technology from a bascule bridge perspective.”

She says work on the Independence Bridge should be complete by the end of 2024.

As you can imagine, Pavlawk said she can’t wait.

“I just look at how far we’ve come over the last ten, 15 years, and this is just one more foundational element for us to continue to grow long term,” she said.

As we’ve reported, we’re told the Liberty Bridge will open on December 22 shortly after 2 p.m.  The Liberty Bridge will be free for everyone to use until the end of March 2023.