Hard at work: Crews continue construction on Cooley Bridge

Crews on Monday continued work on M-55’s Mortimer E. Cooley Bridge. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

Crews on Monday continued work on M-55’s Mortimer E. Cooley Bridge. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

NORMAN TOWNSHIP— Crews on Monday continued work on M-55’s Mortimer E. Cooley Bridge, which spans 555 feet across Pine River in Norman Township.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) project will be done in two phases and is aimed to preserve the 84-year-old historic structure for years to come.

“The bridge currently can handle the usual traffic it carries, because of the factors of safety included in its original design,” said Matt Chynoweth, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Bureau of Bridges and Structures. “The upgrades we install this fall will ensure that, no matter the situation, Cooley Bridge can carry any and all traffic.”

According to MDOT, the first phase of the Cooley Bridge project — which began at the start of September and is scheduled to run through Nov. 10 — includes structural steel repair and partial painting.

Cooley Bridge has been temporarily closed during construction and highway traffic is being detoured on local roads.

Traveling eastbound on M-55, traffic is being routed on Seaman Road, Hoxeyville Road, 48-1/2 Road and M-37.

The second phase of the Cooley Bridge project is expected to begin in the spring of 2019 and continue into the summer.

The second phase of work will consist of a bridge deck thin overlay replacement, substructure repair, structural steel enhancements, cleaning and coating the structural steel, concrete sealant and bridge approach work.

Highway traffic will again be detoured during the duration of this phase.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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