Innovative span to replace historic Centreville bridge

Centreville — A historic bridge that’s the last of its kind in Michigan is going to be replaced by a new span that’ll be the first of its kind in the state.

The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to begin removing the M-86 bridge over the Prairie River near Centreville on July 18.

It’ll be relocated to Cass County. Crews will disassemble the bridge, rehabilitate rusted steel framing parts and replace more than 1,800 rivets before rebuilding it over the Dowagiac River in Pokagon Township next summer.

In its place, the department will build a new 104-foot bridge that’ll be the first in the state to include carbon fiber composite strand reinforcement. It’ll be the second span in the state to include concrete T-beams.

The department says pairing the bulb T-beams and the carbon fiber strands will reduce concrete cracking, deterioration and corrosion common in traditional steel-reinforced bridges.

“By implementing these innovative designs, the new bridge beams could last more than 100 years and require less maintenance, leading to significant cost savings for Michigan taxpayers,” the department said in a press release.

The original M-86 bridge began carrying traffic over the Rouge River in Detroit in 1928. It was moved to Centreville ten years later as part of a Works Public Administration project.

The $4.9 million project is scheduled for completion in November 2017.