2 bridges in Jackson are getting replaced

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JACKSON, MI (WILX) -- Two bridges in Jackson, that have been in place for more than 100 years, are finally getting replaced.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will build new bridges to carry trains over Jackson and mechanic streets and businesses in the area say they are looking forward to it. (Source: WILX)

The Michigan Department of Transportation will build new bridges to carry trains over Jackson and Mechanic streets and businesses in the area say they are looking forward to it.

Engineers said bridge construction has changed drastically in the last 100 years and it's time these crossings are upgraded.

"We have an issue with that underpass," said Alex Cash of P&T Fitness.

The railroad underpasses in downtown Jackson cause headaches for many businesses.

"I actually have some friends who have tried to take a U-Haul under there and just took the top right off, $3,000 worth of damage, they had to have that truck fixed up," Cash said.

MDOT brought the rail line through Jackson connecting Detroit and Kalamazoo back in 2012. Railroad bridge engineer Ryan Hoenshied said they've been looking at fixing clearance issues here since then.

"We have cash histories and high load strikes at both of these locations," Hoenshied said.

Large vehicles can't fit under the bridges. There's not even 12 feet for traffic under the bridge on Jackson Street. Hoenshied said that's about to change.

"At Jackson Street, we're going to be able to get the 14'6 standard under clearance for present-day truck traffic."

Mechanic Street is only going up 7 inches mostly because of other obstacles like a nearby crossing.

"We also have the Grand River to contest with. The water table is only about 2 or 3 feet down before it starts turning into a bathtub," Hoenshied said.

The state worked with Jackson city leaders to make sure the design will fit with downtown revitalization.

"In addition to the transformation that's happening more in central downtown Jackson, that would be another great addition," Cash said.

Work on the bridge project will begin next month, which will mostly be moving utilities. Construction will happen next year.

There will be a public open house about the project next week Wednesday from 1:30 to 7 p.m. at Christoff & Sons Floor Covering in Jackson.

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