UPDATE: As of 10:52 a.m. Monday, all lanes are open. But the overpass bridge remains closed both ways.
For the fourth time in 2018, a truck struck the 100th Street overpass on northbound U.S. 131 -- and the Michigan Department of Transportation can't figure out why it keeps happening.
"This bridge goes years and years and years without being hit. And then for some reason, this year, it's been hit four times," said John Richard, MDOT's communications representative for the Grand Region.
A truck carrying a forklift crashed into the bridge early Monday morning, sending a piece of the forklift onto the highway and briefly closing down a lane.
The low point of the bridge is 14 feet one inch, but it's listed at 13 feet 11 inches for wiggle room, Richard said.
"It's on the low side for sure, but it's definitely not the lowest in the state," he said. "So, I'm not sure why it keeps getting hit, because it's clearly listed for all truckers."
MDOT says engineers found the bridge did not dip after the accident, and repairs to the bridge should start this summer.
"Replacing the bridge is in the five-year plan, but we're still in the design phase," Richard said. "And we still need to secure funding. As far as insurance money from the trucking companies, the [maximum] on that is $1 million."
MDOT bridge repairs and replacement to be a shared cost between itself, the Kent County Road Commission and Byron Township. But the township isn't paying for bridge repairs, said Supervisor Tom Hooker.
"Our involvement would be to help Kent County Road Commission if they were to rebuild the bridge and put a new bridge in much higher," Hooker said.
Byron Township set aside $100,000 for the roads approaching the bridge it it's replaced. Richard said a new bridge, which won't be constructed for many months, would cost around $8-12 million, possibly more.
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