AASHTO Journal, 6 December 2013
Drivers utilizing Michigan’s Zilwaukee Bridge in Saginaw County received some welcome news last month when Michigan Department of Transportation announced it was re-opening all lanes of the bridge, some of which had been closed for repairs, on Nov. 23, weeks ahead of schedule. The project will extend and maximize the service life of the bridge and make the ride smoother for drivers.
MDOT began the I-75/Zilwaukee Bridge project in April 2013 (though additional work on other roadways included in the project began in October 2012). The scope of work on the $70 million included reconstructing four miles of I-75 and replacing the bearing pads on the Z-Bridge. The first section of the project, which focused on the southbound lanes of the roadway, was to be completed in mid-December 2013. Through traffic maintenance techniques, the project was accelerated to avoid construction during winter weather. MDOT was able to reopen all lanes of I-75 and the Z-Bridge on Nov. 23, three weeks of the projected completion date of mid-December.
MDOT Director Kirk Steudle said innovation played a large role in the success of the project.
“This project moved quickly because of innovations in traffic management and the use of the Construction Manager General Contractor process,” Steudle said. “CMGC allows for tremendous flexibility, speed of delivery and reduced risk as the owner holds the contract for the design consultant and the contractor.”
MDOT plans to begin work on the northbound lanes of this stretch in 2014, now estimating completion in January 2015 (moved up from the original date of April 2015).