Thursday, August 11, 2011

M-3 Bridge Replacement

Last year it was decided and approved that the two M-3 bridges that span over the Clinton River be replaced.

“Old Southbound M-3 Bridge”Old SB M-3 Clinton River Bridge 

Copied from the Michigan Dept. of Transportation web site:

M-3 bridge replacement over Clinton River begins Jan. 15

January 10, 2011 -- Work to replace the M-3 (Gratiot Avenue) bridges over the Clinton River in the city of Mt. Clemens will begin this weekend, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). On Saturday, crews will close the northbound M-3 bridge and shift all traffic to the southbound structure.
During the closure of the northbound bridge, two-way traffic will share the southbound structure with a single lane open in each direction. Local streets Wellington-Crescent and Clinton River Drive will be converted to one-way streets during the traffic shift to facilitate all traffic using the southbound structure. The northbound bridge is expected to open in late April.
After the northbound bridge is completed, all traffic will use the newly constructed bridge in order to replace the southbound structure. Again, the local streets will be converted to one-way status in order to shift traffic.
All work on this $8.6 million investment is expected to be completed in late October.

Everyone in the area was thrilled that the bridges were going to be replaced. After all, the old ones were actually crumbling into the river.

((Click this link to map and information about the original bridge))

For the past week now, every day for at least 10 hours a day, we have heard this pounding noise coming from the construction zone of the Bridge Replacement. You could tell from the rhythm of the pounding that Pylons were being driven into the ground.

My curiosity got the best of me today, so off I went on my bike with video camera in hand.

Southbound M-3 Pylons being installed at the Clinton River.

After shooting the video, and heading back home, I came across two workers taking their lunch break under a shade tree. I asked them if they knew how deep the pylons are pounded into the ground. They told me that they are 60ft. long. That they are driven 40ft. into the ground unless they hit rock.

The taller pylons are resting on rock. The shortest are sunk in 40ft. New Northbound M-3 bridge is in backgroundSnapshot 1 (8-11-2011 9-22 PM)

They are expecting this new bridge to outlast a century before needing replacement.

The weather has been just great this past summer for the construction crew, and they have been putting in many hours of overtime on this Southbound bridge. Unlike the Northbound side, which they worked just 40 hours per week. They expect to have it completed by the end of next month. If I were a betting man I wouldn’t bet on them getting this job done on time. But I do wish them luck, and hope they do complete it on time.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.


  1. It is great that the infrastructure is getting repaired, but I will be glad when the repair season is over.

  2. have to love all the construction!..every where we go are those darn workers in the orange vests!

  3. A lot of work goes into rebuilding bridges... Very cool post!
    Have fun