Construction to replace Whites Bridge now underway

Posted at 10:20 PM, Nov 01, 2019

KEENE TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- More than six years ago, Whites Bridge in Ionia County burned down and now construction to replace it is finally underway.

There’s been a lot of buzz along the Flat River since a big crane first went up this week, a sign that the community effort to  replace the historic Whites Bridge has been successful.

In July of 2013, the bridge that stood for more than 160 years burned down.

Investigators say it was arson, but no one has been charged in the crime.

Thanks to hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding and even more raised by the Whites Bridge Historical Society, the rebuild has officially begun.

"They have spent the last 6 weeks maybe cutting the Lincoln log pieces so they’ll all fit together, and of course the big crane showed up and it is a big one, my inspector tells me that they’re beginning to lay out the truss location on the ground and they are starting to assemble the trusses themselves," Kent County Road Commission Assistant Engineering Thomas Byle explained.

It’s a unique build, the specific kind of covered bridge can only be found in west Michigan.

They hope to finish building by Christmas, the schedule is dependent on weather.