Michigan DOT building temporary bridge across Tobacco River to replace washed-out causeway bridge

acrow bridge rendering
The Michigan Department of Transportation will build a temporary bridge comprised of prefabricated modular steel bridge components, helping to expedite the construction time frame and restore full mobility to the M-30 corridor within nine months of the initial disaster. (Courtesy: Acrow Bridge)

EDENVILLE, Mich. — Contract crews for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) this week began construction on a temporary bridge on Michigan Highway 30 (M-30) over the Tobacco River in Gladwin County. The M-30 causeway bridge near Strykler’s Lakeside Marina was washed away following a flooding and a dam breach in May. The temporary bridge, which has a projected cost of $4.3 million, is expected to open to traffic in mid-February.

The May flooding and subsequent dam failure led to damage of two M-30 bridges and the Curtis Road bridge, all within 1 mile of each other.

MDOT staff determined that a temporary bridge structure was the best use of federal emergency aid and supported their mission of restoring mobility as quickly as possible.

“Reopening this second M-30 bridge is vital to our business,” said Gurbachan Singh, owner of Edenville Market. “We have really struggled to stay in business since the flood damage, and every bridge that reopens helps our business a little more.”

causeway bridge washout web
May flooding and dam failures resulted in significant damage to roads and bridges, including the M-30 causeway bridge over the Tobacco River. (Courtesy: Michigan Department of Transportation)

Standard bridge construction requires several years of design work and review to ensure the appropriate size structure is installed, meeting the transportation needs for the foreseeable future. In addition, construction of the temporary bridge will happen more quickly than normal because there is no existing structure to maintain traffic on.

MDOT used an expedited bid-letting process to garner bids for the temporary bridge building. The job was awarded to Anlaan Corp., which reviewed the site Dec. 2 and planned to mobilize equipment the same week. Temporary bridge components are being supplied by Acrow Bridge, a corporation that specializes in prefabricated modular steel bridge solutions.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) will be working concurrently to secure the existing Edenville Dam. This work is being completed to ensure future flooding does not place area residents and businesses in danger, and to address ongoing impacts on infrastructure and natural resources. This work will result in rapidly changing water levels and impact the stability of ice once winter recreation activities are in full swing. MDOT and EGLE request that the public refrain from all recreation activities while this work is ongoing.

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