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

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Isabella County's lowest-rated bridge

Isabella County's lowest-rated bridge is the Wise Road bridge in Coe Township that crosses the Little Salt River downstream from Shepherd. It carries a federal sufficiency rating of 2.0 on a scale of 0-100.
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, but a pretty good argument has been made that this one is. It is up for replacement in 2009.

Beneath the bridge, the problems are obvious. The steel beams supporting the bridge are heavily corroded. It's possible to pass one's hand through the hole in one massive I-beam.

Daylight shines through a hole in the deck.

It's a good bet that this I-beam, now shaped like a Z, once was straight and true.

One guardrail post seems to have taken a hit at some point, and the I-beam below it is twisted out of shape.

On a county primary road, the bridge carries substantial traffic, including heavyweight agricultural and truck traffic.

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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