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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Clare County's lowest-rated bridge

Clare County's lowest-rated bridge is on Clare Avenue - Old. U.S. 27 - in Frost Township near the Roscommon County line. With a federal sufficiency rating of 4.0 on a scale of 100, the concrete bridge shows its age.
The “federal sufficiency rating” is a complex formula used to determine federal bridge program funding eligibility.
The sufficiency rating combines the condition and functional adequacy data collected on every bridge into a single number. Sufficiency rating values range from 0 (low) to 100 (high).
If the sufficiency rating on a bridge is 50 or less and it is designated as “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete,” the bridge qualifies for federal replacement funding.
A low sufficiency rating number does not necessarily mean that the bridge is in need of immediate repair.

It crosses Townline Creek in a middle of a swale. The bridge's concrete deck is barely above the water, and it looks as if the deck could be submerged during times of extremely high water in the swamp.
The years have not been kind to concrete bridges, which were built quickly and cheaply during the middle of the 20th century. Concrete facing falls off after years of exposure to sun, heat, cold and salt, exposing the conglomerate and rebar below. below.
Gravel on the narrow curb next to the narrow bridge deck seems to come from the bridge itself as the concrete disintegrates.

The bridge traffic isn't heavy, but Clare Avenue is a county primary road.

Click here for a fully interactive map

Mid-Michigan has many "structurally deficient" bridges. Click on a placemarker near you to see them in your area.

Read Susan Field's story on mid-Michigan's bridges in Sunday's Morning Sun!


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