19 May Okemos Road Bridge Construction Just Temporary?
If you’ve driven around Okemos and East Lansing during high traffic times recently, you’ve probably noticed a considerable increase in traffic. The bridge construction has shut down the Southbound lane near the Red Cedar River Crossing. Most local residents didn’t think it have a large impact but it is definitely frustrating drivers. Once the South Side of the bridge is finished, they plan to close down the Northbound and continue making repairs to the North Side of the Bridge.
The concerning fact is that this work was labeled as “temporary” by the Ingham County Road Commission. They have estimated that this repair will last somewhere between 5 and 10 years. To me, this doesn’t seem like a very long time for a fix so why don’t they just replace the entire thing right now? It’s obvious that the bridge is not going to work and will need replacing. They are just delaying the inevitable and possibly putting drivers in danger. There is no guarantee that funding will be there 5 years.
A routine inspection by the Commission found that large steel beams on the bridge were deteriorating. They even closed one lane down to lessen the load on a bridge for a few months before deciding they needed a better “temporary fix”. Regardless, you can expect the heavier than normal traffic to last until mid-June according to the commission. Considering they are still working on the first lane, I think it’s safe to say it will take a bit longer than expected. Most of the traffic is currently being routed through Hagadorn Rd. near Michigan State University Campus. Even the rail-road tracks on this road have been a major problem. If you take these tracks any faster than 10-15 MPH, you better HOLD on.