Colonial Bridge work to begin in October
Two years ago a one car crash ended the century plus run of the enigmatic wooden structure known as the Colonial Bridge.
Built in the early 1900’s the humpback one lane structure spanning the railroad line running underneath has had a checkered history when it comes to ownership, the primary factor in why the work to replace the bridge has been delayed.
“The rail line is currently leased by Marquette Rail but owned by CSX,” said NCRC Manager Kelly Smith. “When we began inquiring about the bridge we were told by the railroad that they didn’t own it. This led to a lengthy process of finding out how we can acquire ownership of the bridge when no one claims to own it.”
Finally through a seemingly never ending series of correspondence the Road Commission acquired the bridge however another roadblock to action remained.
“There was no record of us having a right of way (ROW) for the bridge that no one owned is probably the simplest explanation.”
The NCRC applied for the ROW and now after this lengthy adventure through an ocean of paperwork, phone calls and emails the work on the bridge is scheduled to begin.
The old structure will be removed beginning October 22 and work will begin on the new 100 foot span with two lanes and shoulders alongside. Abutments will be in place by winter and the work will resume in the Spring with completion slated for around July 4th.
The $2 million project will include approximately $100,000 in local monies as the required 5% match is being met by Ashland Township and the NCRC.
“The road commission is appreciative of Ashland townships contribution towards the project, without it the project may not have happened,” added Smith. “ We also would like to thank those who have been inconvenienced for their patience while we worked through the process of restoring the crossing.”