MIDLAND, Mich. — A landmark bridge in central Michigan is preparing to reopen after months of repair work.

The Tridge is the three-way wooden footbridge spanning the convergence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee rivers near downtown Midland. The city consulted Oregon-based Western Wood Structures, which surveyed the Tridge and identified water damage from years of using water-based stains, along with weathering and aging of the wood.

The $2.7 million renovation includes using oil-based stains, replacing original 1981 wooden decking, railing posts, overhead cross beams and arch lights as well as installing a new LED lighting system, the Midland Daily News reported.

“The decking is in place and the rails are up,” said Karen Murphy, public services director for the city. “The last thing we’re waiting for is the lights.”

Murphy said the light system will have the ability to change colors for special occasions and holidays. It’s expected to arrive mid-October and will likely take a few weeks to install.

“We have an electrician on standby,” she said. “Whenever those lights come in, we will be able to (install them).”

Murphy said most of the project is scheduled to be completed by mid-October. She said the Tridge will reopen fully after the lighting installation is finished in the beginning of November.

The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation funded about $2.5 million of the project, while an endowed maintenance fund from the Midland Community Foundation covered the rest.

Murphy said the upgrades make up the first major renovation of the Tridge since it was constructed in 1981.

“The Tridge and Midland go hand-in-hand,” she said. “It’s a huge improvement. The Tridge just needed a facelift.”


Information from: Midland Daily News, http://www.ourmidland.com