New Bridge Over Manistee River

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New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:49 am

Apparently MDOT is seeking proposals for the design for a new railroad bridge over the Manistee River near Walton Jct.

The RFP describes the project thus:
“This Request for Proposal (RFP) is for the development of bridge replacement plans, specifications and construction estimate for a railroad bridge (B02-83350.66) located along the state-owned, GLC operated, Northern district over the Manistee River, north of the City of Manton, Liberty Township, Wexford County, Michigan (Railroad MP 350.66).”

The construction cost is estimated to be $6 million

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOT_RFP_DES_REQ2788_Hoensheid_posted_2_655470_7.pdf
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Super Chief » Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:16 pm

Well that would get 1225 to Traverse City and lift the speed limit on the existing bridge. Also I don't know if weight limits on freight cars have been reduced based on the current bridge? If industry north of the bridge is being hampered by the current bridge specs and age maybe East Jordan foundry and the cement company need a stronger bridge for shipping rail?
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby AARR » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:14 pm

Petoskey Plastics is receiving 286k cars that go over the bridge
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby GP-35 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:00 am

Back in 2015 GLC took several heavy loads to Elmira for Wolverine Power's new gas fired peeking power plant. The two turbines were around 250 tons including the car weight, and the generators around 300 tons including the car weight also 5 big transformers were also part of this project. They did have idler cars between all of the loads. The new bridge has been in the works for a long time but funds kept getting robbed from the project. most of the cement cars going to Elmira are all around 232,000 lbs cargo weight. Don't forget the big transformers that go to Consumers Energy substation on the TC branch.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby MQT1223 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:20 pm

So reinforcing the existing structure is cost prohibitive? What renders a bridge too far gone?
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Super Chief » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:28 am

With this bridge age and probably the concrete abutments. Three years ago rode across it in a GP 35 (SRI passenger excursion) and she does sway/shake at 10mph. A total rebuild is almost required if erosion of the river banks around those abutments is considerable after this many years.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby DaveO » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:12 am

One consideration is that you can't shut the railroad down for months on end. The documentation states that the maximum rail service interruption is limited to 7 consecutive days. The way it reads to me is that they can do multiple interruptions but they need to let a trains pass at least every 8 days.

That pretty much means you have to build a completely new bridge next to the existing one.

And MQT1223, you should live to see 1225 cross it :D
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Todd_F » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:51 am

I'm glad I had the opportunity to film a 23 car train crossing the bridge on 9/18/19. With the structures future uncertain, it might be a good idea to take the drone up and try for a few more shots.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby DaveO » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:28 am

I'm somewhat surprised that the specification includes a timber deck.
I wonder if that's for cost savings or to discourage pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby chapmaja » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:02 pm

DaveO wrote:One consideration is that you can't shut the railroad down for months on end. The documentation states that the maximum rail service interruption is limited to 7 consecutive days. The way it reads to me is that they can do multiple interruptions but they need to let a trains pass at least every 8 days.

That pretty much means you have to build a completely new bridge next to the existing one.

And MQT1223, you should live to see 1225 cross it :D


I agree. I suspect what the plan will end up doing is creating a new bridge to the west of the current span. The new span will include a significant extension on either side of the bridge for the railroad ROW. Once the new bridge is completed, the new bridge and ROW segment will be connected to the existing ROW.

How often does the GLC actually run across this bridge? I know the information requires weekly service during bridge construction, but I could see much less closure time than this being required given the one train each direction per day used nature of the railroad in question
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby NYCMan » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:22 pm

Good thing for GLC the State is paying the $6 Million bill for this project, as if the cost were placed on GLC they would have to increase their carload charges exponentially to cover it, which would likely translate into freight traffic converting to truck and then there being no need for the bridge. The Michigan population is about 10 Million, so each man woman and child is kicking in 60 cents from their hard-earned dollars to subsidize GLC's bridge. Yet, at the same time, the State's roads are in crap condition and nothing seems to be getting done about them. But, this bridge needs to be in place so that the oft-touted Ann Arbor to Traverse City commuter train will be able to run over it. Of course, the dollars spent on the various repeat studies supporting the Traverse City commuter train probably total close to the $6 Million needed for the bridge project.

I just love how money keeps getting pumped into the economy! I just wish it wasn't being funded from my wallet. My Railroad Retirement check barely covers my necessities, as is.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Saturnalia » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:43 am

DaveO wrote:I'm somewhat surprised that the specification includes a timber deck.
I wonder if that's for cost savings or to discourage pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic.

Timber deck just means that the rails will rest on bridge ties instead of being directly fixed to the bridge. Very typical. Direct fixation bridges aren’t very well liked, in part because any settling or misalignment of the bridge deck will cause track surface issues. But if you put a layer of ties in there, they can be adjusted to correct for any of that sorta thing.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Standard Railfan » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:34 am

chapmaja wrote:I agree. I suspect what the plan will end up doing is creating a new bridge to the west of the current span. The new span will include a significant extension on either side of the bridge for the railroad ROW. Once the new bridge is completed, the new bridge and ROW segment will be connected to the existing ROW


There is another way:
https://youtu.be/jT5Jyl8wsCk

The MDOT solicitation also stated that no additional ROW would be obtained for the project. I believe that the ROW is 100 feet wide through the project area. That would not leave much space for a new alignment.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Saturnalia » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:04 pm

I haven’t seen the plans but you’d be surprised what is possible using the same alignment. Assuming most of the new foundation will be steel pile of one form or another, then everything else is LEGO-style set-in-place. They could probably do it in a couple cutover curfews or even one if they’re alright with a couple-day outage. Can keep on running trains until they actually go to replace the deck.

That’s my hunch anyway. Put new pipe pile or drilled shafts to the outside, span with precast or steel fab caps, then set spans.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby KingsleyRailFan » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:52 pm

I keep meaning to ask, exactly where is this bridge? I seem to have the worst luck finding the dang thing in my car.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby ~Z~ » Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:29 pm

KingsleyRailFan wrote:I keep meaning to ask, exactly where is this bridge? I seem to have the worst luck finding the dang thing in my car.

Google Maps is your friend. Here's how close it is to your place of Kingsley, circled in blue:
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby AANscaleRunner » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:52 pm

KingsleyRailFan wrote:I keep meaning to ask, exactly where is this bridge? I seem to have the worst luck finding the dang thing in my car.


You can access the bridge from old 131 south of Walton at the Wexford/Grand Traverse county line. First two track leading to the west just before the state campground. You can drive almost to the bridge and then a short walk to the span. Here's a video I shot September 18 as they returned from Elmira.

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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Doktor No » Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:39 pm

Get a DeLorme Map Book. Indispensable for tracking (he said tracking) down those back roads that open up a new world of boondocking.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Super Chief » Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:57 pm

I found it interesting when researching the old bridge, Alex Huff when he was at the helm of Michigan Northern, told an enquirer that theres still railroad wheels etc. on the east side of the existing bridge in the river.
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Re: New Bridge Over Manistee River

Unread postby Super Chief » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:03 am

Maybe GLC could pay for it out of their MDOT Burlington double-decker car refurbished and rent collected fund? Seems fair now that they just sit on the cars and the money.
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