Consultants, officials say closed bridge should stay that way

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Photo by Sue Suchyta

The Harrison Street bridge linking Wyandotte and Lincoln
Park should remain closed, according to Wyandotte officials
after reviewing an engineering consultant’s findings.

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – After reviewing an engineering consultant’s findings, officials here concur that the Harrison Street bridge should remain closed.

Earlier this year Lincoln Park officials closed the bridge, which links the two cities, because it had deteriorated structurally and there was not enough money to pay for repairs or replacement.

School-of-choice students attending Wyandotte Public Schools were affected by the closing, as were pizzeria and party store customers from Wyandotte who had patronized the Lincoln Park businesses just west of the bridge.

Shortly after word of the closing, Wyandotte city officials hoped that deck repairs to the bridge, rather than the complete replacement that Lincoln Park officials said was necessary, would allow it to reopen sooner and restore established traffic patterns between the two cities.

Wyandotte then hired engineering consultants Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber Inc. of Grand Rapids to reassess the bridge’s condition and load-bearing ability. The company found that the bridge is able to handle just 20 percent of its original load capacity.

Wyandotte City Engineer Mark Kowalewski said the bridge testing was to see if the concrete beams were strong enough to permit the bridge deck to be replaced. That option would take less time and cost less money than bridge replacement.

However, both destructive core and lab testing of concrete cores, as well visual observations by FTC & H ascertained that the concrete deck of the bridge has retained approximately 20 percent of its initial capacity, and the support beams have a residual 35 percent of their original capacity.

Kowaleski said those findings mean that repair of the deck and superstructure alone is not feasible, and recommended that the bridge remain closed to traffic.

FTC & H also said the deck and superstructure support beams should be completely demolished and replaced. Company officials said the recommendations were based on evaluation of bridge materials, and that no subsurface soil, chemical, environmental or hydro-geological testing or analysis was included in their assessment.