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The Eastern Echo Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Ypsilanti officials consider closing off Cross Street Bridge

The 38-year-old bridge is deteriorating, and city officials say it's time to take action.

Engineers and city staff at the Ypsilanti City Council meeting Sept. 13 announced a menu of options to address the deteriorating 38-year-old Cross Street Bridge.

The Cross Street Bridge provides a gateway across the Huron River to Depot Town. The bridge will likely be completely closed off by 2032 if officials don’t move on to replace it quickly.

Built in 1984, the bridge has weight restrictions because of deteriorating concrete and cracked beams. 

According to an OHM Advisors replacement study, the construction cost of the bridge could run between $4.8 million and $14.4 million, depending on the methods the officials decide to take to fix this problem. 

According to the report, they found that the best solution would be to take on a $19.5 million project, implementing a new, two-span bridge using steel plate girders. However, city staff prefer a more affordable option, replacing the beams, deck, and rail at the top of the structure instead of the entirety of the bridge. 

“To be frank, it’s really the only option that can financially work for the city,” Ron Akers, Department of Services Director, said to the City Council on Tuesday.

If city officials choose the recommended, more affordable option, the project would cost about $6.24 million, according to city estimates. 

State and federal funding would be pursued to fund the project, but the city will still likely be responsible for design costs, which, depending on which outside funds are secured, could go for about $2.4 or $3.2 million. 

The city has a list of other aging infrastructure that also needs repair and funding. Fortunately, Ypsilanti has received funds from the state to upgrade the Forest Avenue bridge, planned for next year, and the Factory and Leforge street bridges in 2025, Akers said. 

“We got to do something one way or another,” Ypsilanti Mayor Lois Allen-Richardson said.