The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Midland County Road Commission (MCRC), and Edenville Township are pleased to announce emergency repairs on the Curtis Road bridge over the Tittabawassee River are complete. Crews reopened the bridge at 9 a.m. today following completion of a nearly $1.2 million federally funded project to repair extensive damage caused by flooding and dam breeches in May.
Prior to May’s 500-year flood event, the Curtis Road bridge was rated in fair to good condition, having been built in 1997 and maintained carefully over the past 20 years. The route services more than 2,000 vehicles a day and provides an east-west connection for local traffic in Edenville but has remained closed since May 19. MCRC worked closely with MDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to secure emergency funding, ensuring the necessary bridge and road repairs would not come at the expense of the road commission’s annual construction budget.
“This area has been devastated by flood damage and Gov. Whitmer has asked that we make restoring mobility across this region a priority,” said State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba. “Curtis Road may not be a state road but we have one goal and that is to provide these impacted communities with reliable roads and bridges. We will continue working together until all roads and bridges are reopened.”
Following MCRC’s debris removal and inspection of the existing structure, crews determined the bridge would require heavy maintenance but not a full replacement at this time. The existing roadway approach had been washed away and needed to be rebuilt. MDOT staff oversaw the design work for Curtis Road, administered the FHWA funding, and managed the emergency construction contract.
“Finding immediate funding for these repairs would have been a real challenge,” said Jonathan Myers, managing director of the MCRC. “Our goal is to reopen impacted roadways as quickly and safely as possible but the costs for these repairs can skyrocket and our budget can’t sustain major repairs like this without advance warning. Securing federal funding for the repairs and working with MDOT to administer that funding was crucial to getting this bridge reopened.”
Repairs included rebuilding 600 feet of roadway, including the roadway embankment and subbase, replacing driveway culverts, rebuilding driveway approaches, and restoring ditches along the roadway. The Curtis Road bridge required a new concrete bridge approach, backfilling at the abutment walls to restore material removed by flooding, a new return wall at the southwest quadrant, and additional scour protection measures.
In September, U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow announced the first installment of federal relief funds for transportation repairs had been awarded at $25.3 million. MDOT staff estimated the region suffered more than $100 million in damage related to the flooding and dam breeches, impacting more than 30 bridges and roadways across five counties.