Prairie Street Bridge over the Maple River
Village of Muir
Grassroots efforts, local support, and MDOT funding make needed bridge a reality for the Village of Muir.
The Village of Muir needed a new bridge over the Maple River for safety, convenience, and economic reasons. The existing bridge was over 100 years old yet a vital link to health and safety services for the residents. “Alternate routes would add 10–15 miles to one’s trip,” said Prein&Newhof Project Manager Jason Washler, PE. “They need this bridge.”
The project had a $3.6 million price tag, and Muir (605 residents in 2013) began tackling this funding challenge in May 2011 by applying for an MDOT Local Bridge Grant. The Village received a $2.9 million commitment from MDOT in January of 2012. Muir developed a fundraising strategy to raise the remaining balance from other grant agencies, local stakeholders, and with community events.
“It has been incredible to see a community pull together and achieve this,” Washler said of the three–year fundraising effort. “They don’t give up. That’s why they’ll see this bridge get built.”
Grass roots fundraising efforts included a jelly bean sale at the Ionia County Fair, a lemonade stand, Lions Club lotteries and engraved brick sales. To date, Village leaders have volunteered nearly 900 hours of their personal time to raise money for this project.
Village President Doug Hyland has made multiple presentations to other local stakeholders to find support for the project. After these efforts, the Village of Muir is within $50,000 of reaching its fundraising goal for this project.
The Project Vision
The Village of Muir hired Prein&Newhof and HH Engineering to design a new two–lane bridge to replace the existing structure spanning the Maple River just south of the Village’s central business district. The old bridge accommodates traffic during the construction of the new bridge. Once the new bridge is open for use, the old bridge will be rehabilitated and restored to it is historical appearance and will take on new life as a non–motorized trail that connects the Clinton Ionia Shiawasse Trail segment through Muir.
Construction on both the new bridge and the non–motorized bridge is scheduled for completion by Summer 2016.
Project of the Year, 2016 American Public Works Association Michigan
Jason Washler, Project Manager 616-364-8491