State lawmaker believes 100th St. bridge is shifting, MDOT says it’s not

KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- The 100th Street bridge over US-131 in Byron Township has been hit eight times this year. The overpass is in state representative Steve Johnson's district, who reached out to FOX 17 after the latest incident took place Wednesday.

"It's about as popular as the Mackinaw Bridge right now... hear about it so much in the news," Johnson said.

He said he believes there are more factors in play than overloaded trucks as the Michigan Department of Transportation has stated.

"Well, I think it's pretty much common sense when you have no hits for a number of years and then all of a sudden you have 6 hits within a number of months. Clearly something changed," Johnson said.

He theorized the bridge shifted and further suggested freeze/thaw cycles and/or soil compaction as possible factors.

However, MDOT stands by the height factor and truckers breaking the law.

John Richard, MDOT spokesman said, "We measure the bridge each and every time we go out there."

Richard said the bridge is 14 feet 1 inch which is two inches taller than what's posted. That gives truckers wiggle room. Yet, eight truckers still failed to make clearance.

"Each bridge hit is perplexing to us, especially when there's an on and an off ramp where they can simply go over the bridge if they were unsure about the height of their load, which of course, they never should be," Richard explained.

Representative Johnson said he's not interested in figuring what other factors, if any, are in play. He just wants the bridge fixed as MDOT is working to do.

Johnson stated, "I'm on board with the MDOT plan. We just need to make sure we go as fast as we can and just keep things safe."

MDOT said repaving will take place this summer and that will slightly lower the road. The bridge is expected to be replaced in 2020. At that point, MDOT said bridge clearance will be at least 16 feet.

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