Bay City Bridge Partners Updates City Commission, Requests Help Communicating with Residents

Bay City Bridge Partners is reaching out to the city for help communicating with residents.

During a presentation at Monday evening’s Bay City City Commission meeting, BCBP’s new General Manager, Terry Velligan asked for the commission’s help in reaching out to the community and bringing up questions or concerns, saying “This is a ‘we’ situation, where we provide you information [to] get it out to your residents,” and “I can’t touch every resident, but I want to trust you to bring those questions to us.”

Velligan was asked by the commission about the requirement for a 25 dollar balance or a credit card to be attached to BCBP accounts even though the organization does not accept cash. He said that’s the kind of issue the organization hopes to learn about and address with better communication, and now that it’s been brought up, they can begin working toward a solution.

Velligan also noted the unique tolling structure for Bay City’s Liberty and Independence Bridges has required the creation of new payment avenues, such as a $15 monthly pass for unlimited crossings. Velligan says there was some confusion over an August 29th deadline, which is for existing account holders to have the discount applied retroactively to the time since tolling began in June.

“People who have used the bridge already, and want to create that $15 account, since we’re not processing transactions, have until the 29th to come into our office to sign up to get that, from June 16th all the way up to here, to get that monthly pass,” said Velligan, adding that Bay City residents with accounts can still still cross for free until 2028. According to BCBP, new accounts will need to call or visit after account creation to set up a monthly pass.

During the presentation, Project Delivery Director Kevin Bischel also gave an update on the ongoing construction on Independence Bridge.

“Independence is going well. We’re working on the southbound lanes, or what were the southbound lanes on the west half of the bridge,” said Bischel. “Half of it has already been re-poured and we’re going to do the remaining parts of it here in September.

Bischel says the bridge will remain open for traffic while work is being done except during concrete pours or when cranes are operating, which may result in closures for a few hours. He says work on the bridge’s internal mechanical components will happen during winter, and the eastern half of the bridge will undergo construction next year, with all lanes reopening by the end of 2024.