In case you hadn't noticed by now, MDOT is busy replacing and widening the M-50 (Alden Nash Avenue) bridge over I-96 in Lowell Township. When finished, the new bridge over I-96 will be widened by 33 feet for a total of 68 feet, accommodating four 12-foot lanes (two through-lanes and two left-turn lanes) and two 10-foot shoulders.

This new bridge project is using what's known as "bridge slide" technology. That means the new bridge will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge and traffic will be diverted to the new bridge in its temporary location. The old bridge will then be demolished and the new bridge easily slides into place. MDOT says Bridge slide technology greatly reduces the amount of time the bridge is out of service, thus creating far fewer headaches for West Michigan drivers. M-50 will be closed and detoured for only two weekends (during demolition and during the slide), as opposed to a multiple-month closure typically associated with a traditional bridge replacement.

Details on the full bridge closure are as follows:

August 1, 2014:

-M-50 (Alden Nash Avenue) will close over I-96 for bridge demolition at 7:30 p.m. TONIGHT (Friday 8/1/14) through 5 a.m. this Monday(8/4/14). -From 9 p.m. TONIGHT through 5 a.m. this Monday, I-96 will be reduced to one lane and traffic will exit and re-enter I-96 using the off and on ramps at M-50. Right turns will be allowed from I-96 to M-50. -By 5 a.m. this Monday, M-50 and I-96 will reopen, and M-50 traffic will be shifted over to the new bridge in its temporary location through October.


Detours you can use while the bridge is closed:

-M-50: 52nd Street, Segwun Avenue and Cascade Road (Cascade will be open for this detour) -Westbound I-96: Follow posted detour to entrance ramp at 28th Street. -Eastbound I-96: Follow posted detour to entrance ramp at Nash Highway.


For more updates on the bridge closure, click here to listen to NEWSRADIO WOOD 1300/106.9 FM for Kevin Richards traffic updates, and follow our live tweets about the closure and the bridge reopening  this weekend and Monday on Twitter via @WOODRadio.