MDOT director: Thaw may cause bridge problems

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Department of Transportation says the spring thaw could lead to infrastructure problems.

MDOT Director Kirk Steudle told 24 Hour News 8 Political Reporter Rick Albin that snow runoff and melting ice on rivers could cause debris jams around bridge supports.

A small accumulation of ice on the Grand River in Grand Rapids. (March 19, 2014)“We also have bridges that we know have a history of collecting debris, so we’re watching those much closer, and taking a more proactive approach to those. … We sit out there with a backhoe and we take the arm and we just push the stuff down so it goes under the other side,” Steudle said. “You’ve got to get rid of them because that ice jam will produce all kinds of pressure that could push the whole bridge right off its supports.”

Steudle said residents should alert their city or county road commissions about any blockages around bridges.

He also told 24 Hour News 8 road repair will be a big issue this spring locally and statewide.

==This Sunday at 10 a.m. WOOD TV8, Steudle discusses Michigan’s roads on “To The Point.”==

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