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Sucker Creek bridge deadline threatened

October 10, 2012
Andrew Westrope - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

LINCOLN - The timber bridge project on Sucker Creek Road in Haynes Township hit a few delays in the past few weeks, and the Alcona County Board of Road Commissioners is unsure if it will meet its Nov. 15 completion deadline.

Sucker Creek Road has been closed since Sept. 27, but road commission workers are still driving piles for the bridge, assisted by John Henry Excavating for excavation work because they found large stone bed beneath the road which the piles cannot penetrate. The stone bed has broken drill bits and prevented the workers from driving the piles to the necessary depth, so the workers started excavating the earth around the piles and hope to finish driving and setting them by next week. Managing Director Jesse Campbell said on Wednesday that Krenn Timber Bridge, Inc. of Mattawan is tentatively on track to deliver the bridge components by the last week of October or the first week of November, though it has also taken longer than expected.

"The manufacturer of the bridge is having trouble getting it built. It's getting the lumber, getting it treated and dried, and getting it to us, delivery has fallen behind," he said. "We're still ahead of the game as far as setting up the site, but we really don't know from day to day, it just keeps changing, and we seem to run into a lot of issues so far. Hopefully, after Nov. 1, everything will run smoothly, and we still want to stay on track to have the bridge constructed and at least erected by Nov. 15. That's when we want to have it open."

The board accepted a $3,000 bid on Wednesday from Goodrich Trucking & Asphalt Paving of Alpena to lay 30 tons of asphalt for the project, though the company's ability to do this could soon be limited by snow. Campbell said if Krenn delivers the bridge on time, his workers will try to assemble it in two weeks.

"The only thing that bothers me in November about constructing the bridge is that our priorities are still going to be the roads," he said. "If it snows, we're going to be plowing the roads, and that's going to set it back even more, not to mention make it a lot more difficult to put the bridge in."

In other business:

Andrew Westrope can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5693.



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