State accepting bids for White’s Bridge reconstruction

Ionia County

KEENE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The state will be accepting bids to rebuild a historic bridge in Ionia County that was destroyed in a fire.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will start accepting bids for the reconstruction of the White’s Bridge on Friday, April 6.

The Whites Bridge Historical Society says the bridge specification are completed and the plan has been submitted to MDOT. The project is scheduled to be complete in July 2019.

White’s Bridge crossed the Flat River on White’s Bridge Road in Keene Township, between Belding and Lowell. It burned down in the early hours of July 7, 2013. Firefighters arrived too late to save it and the 146-year-old bridge crashed into the water. No one was hurt.

The original White’s Bridge, which was built in 1867, was the oldest covered bridge in use in Michigan before it was destroyed. There were only four bridges of its kind built in the U.S., all of them in West Michigan.

The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office says the fire that destroyed the original bridge was arson. There is a $7,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office at 616.527.5737.

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