People in Battle Creek taking notice of hole in concrete barrier on I-194
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It's no surprise that Michigan's summer is filled with construction.
But some are taking notice of a big bridge problem in Calhoun County that hasn't been fixed for months.
There is a fairly large hole in the concrete barrier on I-194, just above I-94. And it's been that way for months. A spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation tells us they're aware and a solution is coming.
If you spend much time in Battle Creek, you've likely noticed a big gap in the concrete barrier on I-194.
Or maybe you've just noticed the Michigan Department of Transportation truck parked in front of the hole.
What's concerning for some drivers is that the hole is over I-94.
"It can be pretty disconcerting, I get that, to see a truck parked in front of the hole on a bridge. I think it would be more disconcerting to see an open hole on a bridge," said M-DOT Spokesperson Nick Schirripa.
Schirripa says crews noticed some deterioration of the bridge during an inspection a couple of years ago.
A project, scheduled for 2020, would have addressed the issue.
Fast forward to the summer, and crews returned to remove loose concrete, called spalling.
"It's usually not much. It's not much material all at once, and we can patch what needs to be patched. In this case, that spalling, it happened at such an accelerated rate, there was nothing there to patch," Schirripa said.
In this case, the concrete barrier had essentially disintegrated. And in it's place came the M-DOT truck, while the department worked to find the funds and the materials to fix it.
Schirripa tells us in the next few weeks, drivers will see a short-term solution--a steel barrier to fill the holes.
In the meantime, he says while it doesn't look pretty, drivers don't need to worry.
"We all should be concerned about driving behavior every day. Should we be concerned about a truck in front of a hole? It's not going to jump out in front of you. At no point will that truck grab somebody and throw them through that hole in the barrier," Schirripa said.
The steel barrier is just a short-term solution.
The long term fix will begin this spring, when M-DOT says crews will start working to reconstruct the entire barrier.