Local bridge bundling pilot kicks off

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This week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast features conversations about the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) initiative to bundle bridge projects together to make them more cost effective.

First, Rebecca Curtis, deputy chief bridge engineer at MDOT, explains how the program stretches taxpayer dollars to help some local road agencies make major improvements on their bridges.

Curtis explains the need for the program because of the growing need as funding has not kept up with the wear and decline in bridge conditions. She also explains MDOT’s role in oversight of local bridge inspections and quality assurance as required by the Federal Highway Administration.

You can track progress on the projects on MDOT’s online dashboard.

Later, Wayne Harrall, deputy managing director of engineering at the Kent County Road Commission and a former member of a regional bridge council, offers a local agency perspective on the bundling concept.

Harrall explains how a sound asset management plan has allowed his agency to stretch the dollars and maintain bridges even in Michigan’s decades-long challenged transportation funding environment. He also shares the reasons he’s a champion for the bridge bundling concept, saying in a news release, "This is the most supportive program from the State of Michigan for local bridges that I've ever seen. The MDOT Bureau of Bridges has engaged with local agencies from the beginning, before there was even funding allocated to the effort."
Podcast photo: Palms Road over Belle River in St. Clair County. Photo courtesy of HNTB.

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