The Michigan Department of Transportation has been working to assess the condition of bridges around the state as it seeks to ensure none of them are in poor shape. Speaking on the most recent episode of MDOT’s Talking Transportation podcast, MDOT bridge engineer Matt Chynoweth said good progress has been made in recent years.
“We now have this massive population of bridges that are in fair condition,” Chynoweth said. “We have fewer bridges in good condition, we have fewer bridges in poor condition, but we have this huge population of bridges in fair condition where we have done the maintenance, we have done the preservation, but they’re still going to deteriorate at a certain rate and the bill will come due.”
Chynoweth says MDOT is looking at big decisions coming up on how to take care of all of those bridges that are in fair condition. One thing MDOT has done is pursue a practice called bridge bundling. That involves contractors who are hired at once to work on large groups of bridges in order to achieve economies of scale and the sharing of equipment and mobilization. Chynoweth says MDOT is also looking at local agency bridges not owned by MDOT that will all be bundled into one project.