City worker: Bridge closure part of $6 million repair project

(Source: WNEM)

Michigan's Department of Transportation has informed Bay City government leaders they have no interest in taking over management of several moveable spans, including the aging Liberty and Independence bridges.

Current repairs on the Independence Bridge are already delaying its re-opening until mid-April.

"We never expressed an interest in adding these bridges to our inventory," MDOT's Director Kirk Steudle wrote in a letter received by the Bay City Manager on Monday.

Fixing and maintaining both lift bridges is costing Bay City millions of dollars and the city has discussed options to privatize them. One company that submitted a proposal would have sought tolls from motorists to recoup expenses. A countywide millage has also been floated.

So, what now?

"We look forward to working with the city and county to find solutions to this challenge, including continued conversations with our elected leaders in Lansing and Washington on programs and policies that would secure necessary funding for needed repairs." said Ryan Tarrant, President and CEO of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

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