By Jessica Mathews /

Two bridges will be replaced with no local match as part of a state pilot program.

In an effort to address the needs of Michigan’s local bridge conditions, MDOT developed the Bridge Bundle Pilot Project that utilizes $23 (m) million in federal highway funds. Locally, the Iosco Road Bridge over the West Branch Red Cedar River Drain and the Mason Road Bridge over the South Branch Shiawassee River have been selected for repairs. The program was discussed during a recent meeting of the Livingston County Road Commission and was said to be a couple of years in the making. Bridges in need of super-structure replacement qualify so it’s just the beams and deck, not down into the abutments. It was noted that the Iosco Road Bridge is down to one lane with barriers because of failing beams while the Mason Road Bridge is posted and located just west of Norton Road in a swampy area.

Road Commission Managing Director Steve Wasylk told the board they’ll coordinate with MDOT for the Mason Road Bridge as just the bridge, not the approaches, will be fixed. He said the Road Commission is looking to fund those approach improvements and design work will be done for where the road is sinking into the swamp. Wasylk said after the bridge is fixed by MDOT, then they’ll move in and fix the approaches back to whatever distance is needed. He said MDOT is currently in the process of bidding for the design/build contractors and probably in late spring they’ll have a better idea of when the work will take place. The project wouldn’t take place until 2022 at the earliest.

Wasylk noted there is no cost or local match from the Road Commission; they just need to communicate commitment and support for the projects. A resolution to that end was approved unanimously by the board.