PAVILION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Two bridges in Kalamazoo County are permanently closed because of disrepair.

The first is on TS Avenue between 29th and 31st streets over the Portage River in Pavilion Township, east of Portage.

The TS Avenue bride over the Portage River in Pavilion Township. (Jan. 11, 2023)
The TS Avenue bridge in Pavilion Township. (Jan. 11, 2023)

Michigan Department of Transportation records show the bridge built in 1933 had a superstructure condition rating of 2 out of 9, with the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County calling the visibly rusty and deck crumbled bridge “structurally and functionally obsolete.”

“These bridge analyses revealed that there were weight restrictions that did not allow for safe motor vehicle travel,” road commission spokesperson Sarah Phillips said.

The other bridge is east of Vicksburg on 40th Street between W Avenue and X Avenue over Little Portage Creek in Wakeshma Township. It dates back more than 110 years.

Neither bridge saw much traffic. The county road commission said the bridge on TS Avenue was used by about 375 drivers a day and the one on 40th saw even fewer.

“They were both aging bridges. I believe there were a multitude of different issues on both bridges that would just require reconstruction rather than routine maintenance,” Phillips explained. “There would not be a mix of old and new. It would require a complete teardown and then a complete rebuilding to match the modern construction standards.”

Phillips said replacements would cost $1 million apiece.

“Because they are local bridges, they would require township participation based on our matching policy, so we will continue to explore different funding options,” Phillips said. “But at this time, there is nothing in the works.”

Pavilion Township Supervisor John Speeter told News 8 the municipality is looking to apply for federal and state grants to fund the TS Avenue bridge’s replacement.

County road commissioners have yet to set an initial timeline on when plans for the bridges will cross from closure to construction.