I-96 reopens after Lowell bridge slide Saturday

Posted at 11:23 AM, Oct 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-18 12:14:26-04

LOWELL, Mich. – The $8 Million bridge slide project is now  in place, allowing cars to safely drive under M-50.

The sliding began Friday evening and finished early Saturday morning.  Michigan is only one-of-nine states in the U.S. where a bridge slide of this magnitude has been successfully executed.

Weighing 2,100 tons, the bridge slid into place with the help of heavy duty industrial lubricants and technological force.

John Richard, MDOT Communications Representative said there was about 270 tons of force that pushed the bridge.

Richard believes bridge replacements of this size usually take four-to-five months with multiple lane closures and detours. And I-96 was never closed during construction, saving taxpayers time and money.

“Imagine if you have to go five miles out of your way for the detour,” said Richard. “That’s ten miles a day. 1000 miles over five months. It really adds up in gasoline and time.”

MDOT said their goal is to have everything open on M-50 and I-96 prior to Monday morning’s rush hour.