One month to go

M-20 project expected to be complete by July 4

WORK SITE: Construction crews work on the M-20 Schrader Creek bridge project near Mecosta on Thursday. The $7.9 million project is expected to be complete by July 4. (Pioneer photo/Kyle Leppek)

MECOSTA — Construction workers in neon-green vests and hard hats drilled, hammered and drove machinery on Thursday at a construction site on M-20 in order to reopen the highway by July.

The M-20 Schrader Creek bridge project, which started in March, is expected to be finished by July 4, but is “on schedule to complete in June” as long as the weather stays favorable, said John Richard, a spokesman for Michigan Department of Transportation.

CLOSE TO COMPLETION: The M-20 Schrader Creek bridge project already has the concrete decks of the bridges poured. Crews are currently working on the four approaches to the bridges and the road in between the bridges. Next, crews will complete the guardrails and pave the approaches and road. (Pioneer photo/Kyle Leppek)

“We just want to make sure (M-20) is open for tourists and the everyday commerce (by July 4),” Richard said. “This project has been going very smoothly since day one.”

Located between 9 Mile Road and Main Street near Mecosta, construction crews working on the $7.9 million project — paid with 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent state funds — have built two bridges over Schrader Creek and the surrounding wetlands to permanently fix flooding on M-20.

As of Thursday, the concrete decks of the bridges were poured, and crews were working on the four approaches to the bridges and the road in between the bridges. Workers also were building temporary wooden guardrails on the bridges for the crew’s safety.

Anlaan Corporation, of Ferrysburg, is constructing the two bridges. The north bridge has a total length of 560 feet and the south bridge is 490 feet long. Each bridge has a 12-foot-wide lane and 10-foot-wide shoulder. At its highest point, the bridges are 14 feet off the ground. Richard is confident the 14-foot clearing is more than enough room to fix the highway’s flooding issues.

During the next month, crews will complete the project’s final touches.

“The railing has to be placed, and that’s basically it,” Richard said. “They also have to pave the road in between the bridges and the approaches.”

Traffic will continue to be rerouted during the final phase of construction. Commuter traffic will be detoured from Main Street in Mecosta, to North A Street, to Hayes Road, to 11 Mile Road to M-66. Commercial truck traffic will be detoured to 90th Avenue to Nine Mile Road. Both detours have been resurfaced and upgraded to accommodate the extra traffic flow, Richard said.

For up-to-date information about the closure, visit www.michigan.gov/drive.

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