MDOT Slide-in Bridge Construction Draws Interest from National Transportation Officials
Thirty engineers from nine states came to Grand Rapids on Thursday, Aug. 14, to see first-hand how the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is leading the way in advancing innovation in bridge construction in west Michigan.
The event, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), focused on the slide-in bridge construction technology demonstrated for the first time in Michigan in two locations near Grand Rapids: the US-131 bridge over 3 Mile Road in Mecosta County, and the M-50 bridge over I-96 in Lowell Township.
Slide-in bridge construction is a process where a new bridge is built alongside the old bridge to be replaced. Traffic is diverted to the new bridge while the old bridge is demolished, and then the new bridge is slid into its permanent spot. The impact on traffic is limited, saving motorists’ time and increasing mobility.
Attendees at the event heard technical presentations from MDOT design and construction teams involved in the two projects, and then went on-site to see how the two slide-in bridge projects were taking shape.
Recently, the new northbound US-131 bridge over 3 Mile Road in Mecosta County was slid into place in approximately 23 hours, and the roadway was opened up to traffic in just five days. Crews are confident that the southbound bridge slide will be done quicker.
The M-50 bridge slide at I-96 is scheduled to take place in early October.
See this animated video showing the process of slide-in bridge construction: