Technology using soap to replace Lowell bridge

Slide technology used on bridge in Iowa. Courtesy: YouTube IowaDOT
Slide technology used on bridge in Iowa. Courtesy: YouTube IowaDOT

LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Today work will begin to replace the M-50 bridge in Lowell, but it’s not a typical construction project.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will be using what’s known as slide technology to complete the work, which involves dish soap.

The project will replace and widen the M-50 or Alden Nash bridge over I-96 in Lowell. The new structure will be widened to 68 feet creating four 12 foot lanes, two of which will be turn lanes.

Crews will construct the new bridge next to the old one so they can keep the old bridge open longer. They will then divert traffic over to the new side while the old bridge is torn down.

Once the old bridge is torn down, crews will actually slide the new one in its place by using dish soap.

The project will only shut down the bridge for nine days, instead of six months, and save drivers an estimated $437,000.

One lane of eastbound I-96 will be closed overnight from Wednesday to Thursday. Everything should be back open for Thursday’s morning commute.

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