Future of Okemos Road Bridge unknown

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OKEMOS, Mich. (WILX) - Restore it, or rip it down, a couple of the options for the historic, and crumbling Okemos Road Camelback Bridge.

Thursday night people got a chance to get a look at the proposals on the table.

Cryss Walker reports.

The Okemos Road Bridge is the gateway to downtown and as developers revitalize the area major changes must happen to handle the influx of traffic.

County road officials say the old camelback bridge has seen its glory days and needs to be replaced.

“Is it going to stay in place and we'll accept all the costs for the future of the bridge or do we let it be taken down and the county will have that expense,” said Township Manager Frank Walsh.

The Ingham County Road department is planning a reconstruction project in 2021.

Part of the plan includes demolishing the century old bridge.

“The northbound bridge, the camelback or the concrete arch bridge is also fairly deteriorated it needs work just to remain standing even as a pedestrian bridge,” said Ingham County Road Department Managing Director Bill Conklin.

Thursday night Conklin held a public information meeting laying out the proposals.

“There's four different alternatives where some would actually replace it or utilize the same space with a different bridge so depending on which alternative they go with I think if we lose all the character that might not be the best in my opinion,” said resident Greg Cook.

If Meridian Township decides to restore the camelback bridge the county will release ownership and the township will pay to maintain it, which could cost between $500,000 and two-million-dollars.

It will then only be open to pedestrians and bicyclists.

The public is welcomed to give feedback on the project.

Contact the Ingham County Road Department to submit your opinion or concerns.