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Author Topic: MDOT to Bay City: We don't want your broken drawbridge  (Read 589 times)

roadgeek

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MDOT to Bay City: We don't want your broken drawbridge
« on: April 03, 2018, 01:11:40 PM »

BAY CITY (WJRT) (4/3/2018) - The Michigan Department of Transportation has declined a request from Bay City leaders to take over one the city's troubled drawbridges.

In a letter to Bay City Manager Dana Muscott dated March 23, MDOT Director Kirk Steudle said the state doesn't want the financial burden of paying for the required repairs.

He pointed out the bridges also do not connect with other National Highway System routes and the city claims them as local routes.

A workgroup comprised of city, county and regional leaders met in February, when they decide to again ask the state to take over ownership of the bridges. The Independence and Liberty bridges need millions of dollars in maintenance, which the city cannot afford on its own.

The workgroup specifically asked MDOT to designate Trumbull Street, the Independence Bridge and Wilder Road as a state route connecting the downtown area with I-75 in Monitor Township.

Muscott said the state's reticence to take over the bridges was "expected."

However, she said Steudle and MDOT are willing to consider nontraditional means of financing repairs to the bridges, including tolls. During a meet with the Bay City workgroup on Feb. 22, Steudle laid out the process that would be required to begin charging tolls on the bridges.

Bay City would need approval from MDOT and the Federal Highway Administration to enact tolls on the Independence and Liberty bridges because they received federal funding for past construction or maintenance projects.



Excerpt of the letter from MDOT Director Kirk Steudle declining to take ownership of Bay City's drawbridges:

“MDOT has met many times over the years with Bay City, county and state elected officials concerning ownership or jurisdictional transfer of the Independence and Liberty Bridges. We never expressed an interest in adding these bridges to our inventory for a variety of reasons; one being these routes are claimed by Bay City as part of their Act 51 network, as well as their lack of connectivity to other National Highway System (NHS) routes. Another reason is the overall condition of the two bridges and the investment needed to bring them into a state of good repair. We have not changed our position on this matter. MDOT is also not interested in taking ownership of Wilder Road from Harry S. Truman Parkway to I-75."


http://www.abc12.com/content/news/MDOT-to-Bay-City-We-dont-want-your-broken-drawbridge-478660213.html
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JREwing78

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Re: MDOT to Bay City: We don't want your broken drawbridge
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 11:05:30 PM »

I can't say I blame Bay City for trying. Their points have some merit. But MDOT continues to be underfunded and is in no position to take on additional roadway.

Now, if Bay City came up with the cash to fix or replace the Independence Bridge, then handed it to MDOT, they might have a different conversation.

Clearly, though, the Independence Bridge should take priority over the Liberty Bridge. I would repair (or replace) the Independence Bridge, and let the Liberty Bridge rot until either funding comes through to fix it, or scrap it altogether.
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roadgeek

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Re: MDOT to Bay City: We don't want your broken drawbridge
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 11:49:06 PM »

The Independence Bridge just opened back up to traffic this past Thursday. The detour getting around to get to M-15 was a bit annoying.
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cbeach40

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Re: MDOT to Bay City: We don't want your broken drawbridge
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 02:18:01 PM »

The economic interests of keeping the river open go presumably beyond Bay City. It's irresponsible for state or federal agencies to dump this burden on a lower tier of government.
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