MDOT begin's two year construction plan in Zilwaukee

MDOT spent today putting up these signs, letting drivers know that I-75 - Zilwaukee Bridge, Southbound, is closed and traffic is being detoured to I-675. It is about a two mile difference in distance but drivers say itâ??s still a headache.

"Itâ??s a pain in the butt," said one Michigan driver.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is reconstructing four miles of interstate 75 and replacing bearing pads along expansion joints on the Zilwaukee Bridge.

"We really want to make sure we maintain the structural integrity of the Z Bridge and all our bridges, we have an aging infrastructure were dealing with," said MDOTâ??s Anita Richardson.

MDOT says dwindling funding is making construction a tough task to accomplish.

A tough task even for drivers.

"You canâ??t get around, its slow, traffic is bad," said Bay City resident Tex Atkari.

Southbound Zilwaukee bridge construction is scheduled to continue through January 2014 and complete construction through 2015 racking up a total investment of 36 million dollars.

"were going to be replacing all the bearings on the bridge we are also going to be making improvements to the Janes Road Bridge north to the I -675 junction," said Richardson.

MDOT says overall the project will maximize the service life of the bridge helping MDOT work towards their goal.

"Itâ??s our job to make sure the roads are in good condition for Michigan residents and for those who are traveling through the area," said Richardson.

Construction on the z bridge began in 1979 and was completed 9 years later. Meaning in its 26 years of open service this construction project alone is about half of the original 79 million dollar budget proposed to build it.