The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Saxon Harbor bridge contract awarded

 

April 20, 2018



By RICHARD JENKINS

rjenkins@yourdailyglobe.com

Hurley — The Iron County Highway Committee awarded the contract for repairing the bridge over Oronto Creek at Saxon Harbor Monday, a key step in the rebuilding of the harbor after it was destroyed in a July 2016 storm.

Merrill Gravel and Construction was the lowest of seven bidders vying for the contract, according to Iron County Highway Commissioner Mike Swartz.

While it was the lowest submitted, Swartz said the company’s $1,440,712 bid was still above the initial expected cost of the project.

The federal highway administration is expected to pay for 80 percent of the project’s cost, according to information presented at a public information session in October, with Iron County paying for the remaining 20 percent.

With the contract awarded, the only thing delaying the start of construction is the weather.

“As soon as weight limits come off, they are going to be starting,” Swartz said. “In fact, they are asking for permits to move some equipment down there before restrictions come off to get going on (the project).”

At the October meeting, Christopher McMahon, of the Ayres Associates engineering firm, said the project will consist of several parts to allow County A to be reopened without halting work on the harbor’s marina and campground.

The project will first temporarily repair the former Oronto Creek bridge, which was damaged in the flooding that destroyed the marina and campground, to allow it to be used by trucks working on the rest of the harbor while the new bridge is being built.

McMahon said the existing bridge wasn’t structurally damaged during the storm, with damage limited to one of its approaches.

“The existing bridge that is here is structurally sound,” McMahon said. “There is no structural problem with the bridge, the problem is you can’t get to it on the north side.”

The new bridge will be located to the west of the existing bridge, rerouting County A through the site of the former campground — roughly following the route of the current temporary wooden bridge.

The new bridge is designed to be larger than the old one, which is intended to prevent the destructive flooding seen in the July storm.

The new bridge is designed to be a “104-foot long, three-span concrete flat slab bridge with a 34-foot clear width.”

The former bridge was a 46-foot single-span bridge that was 28 feet wide. The new bridge will have 12.1 feet of clearance under it, in contrast to the 6.7 feet under the old bridge.

The increased dimensions are designed to eliminate water flowing over it, McMahon said, whereas the old bridge was designed for water over it every 20 years.

The new bridge is expected to be completed around the end of July, according to Swartz.

“The road may not be paved, but the bridge should be functional by then,” he said Thursday.

 
 

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