MDOT to replace overpasses using new technique


Something that often frustrates Michigan drivers, other than the weather, is construction.

The state is hoping to reduce frustration, and delays with new bridge replacement technology.

Engineers with the Department of Transportation said they’re excited to begin using the new bridge replacement technique.

The process is called a bridge slide. Under the approach, overpasses are out of service less time than they are under a typical replacement procedure.

John Richard, a spokesperson for MDOT, says “Basically they build the new bridge adjacent to the existing bridge, and then they demolish the old bridge and then slide the new bridge into place. The new bridge is built on skids, which are lubricated and they slide it into place over a few hours. So it really dramatically cuts down on the time that the bridge is out of service.”

Richard says the new bridge technique also involves using ordinary dish soap as the lubricant for the skids. That makes cleanups easier, without being harmful to the environment.

The bridge slide will be used to replace an overpass on I-96 near Lowell in Kent county.

Richard says he expects the technology to become much more commonly used throughout the state.