New Okemos bridge paves way for non-motorized traffic across Red Cedar

The foundations are in place. Sections are waiting. And pedestrians, cyclists and others of non-motorized means are ready to propel across the new bridge spanning the Red Cedar River near Wonch Park come late spring.
Toebe Construction LLC of Wixom, Mich., completed bridge foundations in March. Steel sections began arriving in late April and will be put together onsite. When assembled, the pre-fabricated bridge will be lifted by crane onto the abutments. The bridge is expected to be in place by mid-May, with a concrete deck and concrete pathway poured at each end soon after.
"We knew the existing bridges were very hard for pedestrians and cyclists to cross that area safely," says Younes Ishraidi, Chief Engineer, Charter Township of Meridian. "This will be a very nice bridge for our community when it's done."
The new pedestrian bridge will be separate from the existing bridge, and used solely by non-motorized traffic. The new structure will eliminate any connection to the narrow walkway on the existing bridge. When complete, the single span bridge will be about 220 feet long and 10 feet wide.
"This bridge is all part of Meridian Township's non-motorized master plan," says Ishraidi. "We're a very walking-friendly community. This bridge will get a fair share of foot traffic with the school and parks nearby, as well as the downtown area not too far away."
Ishraidi said the bridge was funded completely by the township millage at a cost of $650,000. A ribbon cutting for the new bridge is being planned for June. Wonch Park will be closed until bridge construction is complete.
Source: Younes Ishraidi, Chief Engineer, Charter Township of Meridian
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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