Liberty Bridge rehabilitation project starting in Bay City

Originally Published on November 29, 2021


BAY CITY, MI – Crews will begin mobilizing this week to start work on the rehabilitation of the Liberty Bridge.

Bay City Bridge Partners (BCBP), which is a subsidiary of United Bridge Partners (UBP), is leasing the Liberty Bridge and Independence Bridge from the city and is initiating projects to improve the structures before implementing tolls. BCBP is planning to rehabilitate and modernize the Liberty Bridge and to build a replacement for the Independence Bridge.

The Liberty Bridge rehabilitation project is the first on the list for BCBP. Crews from BCBP’s specialty contractor Granite-Kraemer Joint Venture will begin assembling at the Liberty Bridge on Monday, Nov. 29 to start some behind-the-scenes work and site set up at the bridge. BCBP noted in a press release that drivers won’t see much activity right away during the preliminary phase – instead, the heavy-duty work that will result in lane closures is scheduled to begin on or around Dec. 13.

“It may seem odd to begin construction in winter, but we are working around the shipping season,” explains Kevin Bischel, BCBP project director in a statement. “We have important prep work to do now so that we can take full advantage of warmer temperatures in the 2022 construction season. And we are committed to keeping the bridge open to vehicles as we do it.”

Bridge traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction on the north side of the bridge in December so that work can commence on the south side, according to BCBP. Shortly thereafter, local contractors will start light demolition work – such as removal of light poles and railings. The bridge deck will then be removed on the south side of the bridge. According to BCBP, this will entail the concrete decking being cut, chipped and cleaned, beam repairs and the placement of new deck rebar in preparation for the pouring of a new deck in April.

Bischel noted that there will be a brief time in the spring when both sides of the bridge will be closed and temporarily locked in the open position for ships.

“But we will give residents ample notice and will work to minimize the impact to travelers and local businesses,” Bischel said.

The bridge deck removal work will then shift to the north side of the bridge in mid-summer 2022, according to BCBP.

Major upgrade and replacement work on the electrical and mechanical components of the bascule portions of the bridge are scheduled to begin in January 2022.

The city issued an alert reminding residents to be prepared for potential traffic delays during the project and to take care when driving through the construction area.

The Bay City Times previously reported that the Independence Bridge project is slated to start in the summer of 2022 and that tolling will be implemented for residents five years after work is completed finished on each respective bridge.

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