Kalamazoo Street Bridge in White Pigeon re-opens to the public
WHITE PIGEON — After more than four months of construction and almost three years after the project’s inception, the Kalamazoo Street Bridge over the Pigeon River south of White Pigeon re-opened to the public Monday.
The occasion was marked with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the project site Monday afternoon, with representatives from the St. Joseph County Road Commission and White Pigeon Township among those in attendance.
“We’re very happened that we got it done before we had to close it all winter,” Road Commission Managing Director John Lindsey said.
The project finished up on Monday afternoon with guardrails being installed, and soon after, barricades were taken down and the bridge was re-opened to traffic.
The project completely reconstructed the 51-year-old bridge, expanding it from 96 feet long and 32 feet wide to 120 feet long and 41 feet wide. Lindsey said the new bridge is a “prestressed concrete box beam” design with two 60-foot spans.
Funding for the project was initially approved by the road commission under former managing director Chris Minger in December 2016, to the tune of $2.2 million as part of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s local bridge program. The bid for the project was awarded to Milbocker & Sons of Allegan for $1,451,392.20, with 95 percent of the cost covered by state grants, federal grants and the bridge program. The Road Commission was responsible for design and construction engineering, some of the cost of the project, and property acquisition.
Construction, Lindsey said, started on July 23, which also required a $16,000 mussel survey by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. He said paving was scheduled for the week of Nov. 11, but snow that hit the area around that time delayed that portion of the project for a week. The bridge was officially paved on Nov. 20, the last project for the road commission in 2019. Lindsey said ,with the end of construction season looming, getting the project finished was coming down to the wire.
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