Eighth Street Bridge in Baldwin Remains Closed After Three Years
People in the area are upset as repairs continue on the Eighth Street Bridge in Baldwin, three years after it was washed out.
Issues with the Eighth Street Bridge in Baldwin truly began back when the bridge was first built around 100 years ago. When the bridge was washed out in July of 2019 it pointed out structural issues making the project much more tedious.
Baldwin’s Village President Jim Truxton says they could have spent over $250,000 to put a Band-Aid on the bridge. It would have allowed for just one-lane traffic and five tons, which wouldn’t have been able to hold buses, fire trucks, or ambulances.
The village instead decided to close the bridge, allowing it to be fully renovated. And now over three years later, people are becoming impatient with the process.
“It’s been inconvenient, but it’s happening as fast as it can happen,” Truxton states. “The only thing that would of sped this up at all: If somebody right after the bridge was closed in 2019, had walked in and given the village $2 million. We could of probably had this bridge done last year.”
He says the reason it wasn’t done last year is due to all the surveys, studies and approvals that needed to be done first before construction could begin. Truxton says he understands people frustrations, but points to the progress that’s already been made.
“The engineering is done, it’s gone up to MDOT, it’s gotten all the approvals from MDOT, it’s gotten the approvals from EGLE that need to happen. And so now we’re getting ready to schedule a pre-construction meeting. [Hardman Construction] will get started this fall with a final completion date of end of June 2023,” Truxton explains.
And although the bridge is planned to be completed by the end of June, folks won’t be able to drive on it until the end of summer. Truxton says the new bridge will be longer, wider and taller so they’ll also have to renovate Eighth Street as well.
He says he appreciates people’s patience as the light at the end of the tunnel draws near.
“My little crystal ball says [the project will be complete] by Labor Day. Unless unfortunate things happen that no one can foresee right now, all this closed bridge and all that will just be a fond memory,” Truxton says.