Successful bridge slide on M-100 in Potterville
The purpose of a bridge slide is to cause less havoc on traffic during the weeks before construction. Bridge slides need only a single closure to complete, rather than a week of bad traffic. Typically, current bridge replacement takes several months of detours and lane closures, significantly affecting the local transportation patterns.
Michigan's new bridge is only the fourth of its kind in the state. Bridge slides require crews to construct the new structure directly beside the old one. When it is finished, the original bridge is demolished and the new bridge is slid into its place and permanently connected to the road.
For the recent bridge slide, crews used two pushing cylinders to transition the 1 million pound bridge across 77 feet. The feat took nine hours of work and required 18 tons of force.
Crews opened the bridge at 6 p.m. on Nov. 15. The project finished ahead of schedule.
This is the first time that Michigan has ever used high-capacity steel rollers to move a superstructure into a lateral slide.