Humboldt Township unveils new Black River Bridge

HUMBOLDT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Residents of Humboldt Township celebrated the opening of the brand new Black River Bridge Thursday.

Builders, engineers, and Humboldt Township board members cut the ribbon, opening up the new Black River Bridge to the public.

"This one is a culvert type, with earth and gravel and then pavement right over,” said Kurt Taavola, director of engineering with the Marquette County Road Commission. “So you don't really even see the bridge per say."

The public then got a chance to walk across the bridge, and the builders were presented a key to the community. The previous Black River Bridge had been up since 1928 and had a number of structural deficiencies.

“The old type was an actual bridge with a concrete deck, which was rougher, you felt the joins and that kind of stuff,” said Taavola. “So this one is now wider and just an improvement that way."

Normally, a project like this wouldn't get done without a lot of fundraising. Luckily, the federal local bridge program, and the state of Michigan paid for nearly all of the $740,000 bridge.

"With that local bridge program, it was 85% federal funds, 10% state funds, and then 5% local match, which was paid by the Road Commission," said Taavola.

Humboldt Township was able to pitch in to pay for paving of the road leading up to the bridge.

"We did a separate project in combination with Humboldt Township and the Road Commission where we paved the approach from County Road 601 to the bridge this year, so that's a big improvement to the road too," said Taavola.

Construction was complete in less than four months, and community members are excited to have a safer bridge, that is easier to cross.

"This area was homesteaded many years ago, and there are a lot of people still living out here, so it's important to have good roads and a bridge," said Thomas Prophet, Humboldt Township Supervisor.

The community hopes this new bridge will last for generations to come.

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