City meets with contractor, engineers for Baldwin Street Bridge project update

FREE TO FLOW: Tim and Vickie Vogel look out over the free-flowing Muskegon River as workers prepare for the construction of a pair of piers which will support the new Baldwin Street Bridge. (Pioneer photo/Adam Gac)

FREE TO FLOW: Tim and Vickie Vogel look out over the free-flowing Muskegon River as workers prepare for the construction of a pair of piers which will support the new Baldwin Street Bridge. (Pioneer photo/Adam Gac)

BIG RAPIDS — The deck and piles have been removed and the Muskegon River flows between Pere Marquette and Baldwin streets unimpeded by  the Baldwin Street Bridge.

The removal of the decking and existing piles and the beginning of construction for the piers of the new bridge puts contractor Toebe Construction on track with the schedule submitted at the outset of the project, which requires the construction of the new bridge piers by Nov. 9.

The removal of the bridge has changed the flow of traffic in Big Rapids and required the installation of several signs explaining local businesses, such as the Gypsy Nickel and the Sawmill Canoe Livery, still are open during construction. The additions to existing detour signs have been effective, according to Big Rapids Department of Public Works Deputy Director Roger Schneidt.

“Apparently the businesses are happy,” Schneidt said. “Until they come in and tell us differently, we’re assuming they’re happy.”

There have been adjustments to the original detour plan, which had several stipulations better suited to later portions of the project when construction needs are different, said Todd Richter, of engineering firm Fleis and Vandenbrink.

“I had the city go ahead and remove some barricades at Fourth Avenue,” Richter said “We had the whole intersection barricaded off and I don’t think we need to at this time. People are still using the street and we were getting some head-on congestion.”

There have been no damage claims as a result of the project, Richter said. Soil and water protection are an upcoming priority.

“I don’t think we have any dirt disturbed as of yet,” Richter said. “We have a few inlets to think about, but we don’t have any place to put a silt fence – we’ll be working on that as we move forward.”

Toebe Construction currently is working on the installation of sheet piles in preparation for the installation of the new bridge’s H piles in coming weeks. Sheet piles essentially clear out an area of the river like a temporary circular dam. The H piles are the beams which will be driven into the riverbed to support the new bridge.

avatar

Posted by Adam Gac

Adam is the Pioneer City/County Reporter, covering government in Mecosta County. He can be reached by e-mail at agac@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8347.

Leave a Reply