M-86 'bridge bumps' to be fixed this summer

CENTREVILLE — Travelling east into Centreville on M-86, drivers are usually welcomed to town with a couple of bumps entering and exiting the bridge over the Prairie River. The same thing can be said leaving Centreville going west over the bridge.

The bumps, which can be seen as a nuisance or inconvenience to many drivers, has been an issue since the bridge was re-done sometime around the early 2000s. Pretty soon, however, those annoying bumps will be a thing of the past.

During Wednesday’s St. Joseph County Road Commission meeting, Road Commission Manager John Lindsey announced that the Michigan Department of Transportation will soon be bidding out a project to replace the approaches to the Prairie River bridge this summer to smooth out the road and make the transition between road and bridge much less bumpy. “Bump” signs have been placed near the bridge for the last several months.

The project is scheduled to go to bid in July, with an estimated start date around Sept. 6. Once started, it is expected to wrap up around the end of October. Bridge traffic would be down to one lane while the other lane is worked on, with traffic controlled by a traffic light.

Lindsey said an incident that prompted review of the bumpy bridge happened several months ago, when an incident with a truck trailer coming unhooked occurred when it hit one of the bumps on the bridge. Lindsey said he sent pictures to MDOT of the incident, and it resulted in three phone calls by the end of the day that eventually led to action being taken.

“Finally, they sent some engineers out to check it, Garrett [Myland, road commission engineer] and I went and spoke to them, then they sent someone to do soil borings and then I didn’t hear anything for a while,” Lindsey said. He then called his contact at MDOT, who told them it was scheduled to go out to bid.

The infamous bumps became a thing in the first place, Lindsey said, due to an error with constructing the approaches.

“Everybody knew that when they poured the approach – and you can go look at it, the bridge is as good as can be – they took the approaches and they dive off fast,” Lindsey said.

The project will be completely paid for by MDOT, with the Road Commission paying nothing out of pocket.

In other business…

  • The road commission board approved a certified resolution to sign an MDOT contract for a project on South Nottawa Road and Franks Avenue in Sturgis.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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