Bates-Amasa Rd. bridge finally ready to reopen

IRON RIVER—Just in time for winter, Bates-Amasa Road will finally be reopening.
    The main road linking Iron River and the Amasa area has been closed to all traffic since July, when a redecking project on the Paint River bridge began. With the bridge out, all through traffic has been detoured to the U.S. 2-141 intersection just west of Crystal Falls for the last four months.
     At the Nov. 10 regular meeting of the Iron County Road Commission, Superintendent Doug Tomasoski said the bridge replacement project is nearly finished, and the road should be open again by the end of November.
    According to an engineering firm spokesman Tomasoski spoke with a few hours earlier, “It’s going well, with the additions that were made. The railing should go up by tomorrow.”
    Painting starts right after that. A generator will heat the enclosed area for painters. Since the generator will sit on the bridge deck, the bridge stays closed while that is going on.
    “But unless they run into physical problems, she did not anticipate a problem,” the superintendent said. “They are shooting for Thanksgiving and the end of the month.”
    ● Bids for the Baumgartner and Marinello road projects have been opened, and Northeast Asphalt is the low bidder for both. The winning bid was $205,000 for Baumgartner Road and $283,000 for Marinello Road. Only one other firm submitted bids.
    Commissioners authorized signing both MDOT contracts. Originally planned for 2015, the projects were pushed back to 2016 by state funding delays.
    Tomasoski noted there will be an MDOT asphalt plant in the county next summer, in connection with planned work on U.S. 2 between Sunset Lake Road and Chicaugon Slough.
    In 2017, more work is planned on U.S. 2 near Oss Road, including the addition of a new lane of traffic to eliminate a bottleneck. There is talk about doing an Andreski Plat Road project at the same time.
    ● Plans for work on County Road 424 are with the state now, and a grade inspection is expected soon. Tomasoski said he and the commission’s foremen would meet soon to decide what to do for the section of 424 between Gaastra and Two Mile Hill.
    The Heritage Trail bike path is close to the road in that area, and officials need to decide whether to leave a gravel shoulder between trail and road. One possibility is paving that area and putting in a rumble strip at the edge of the road.
    Funds have been obligated for both that project and a Sunset Lake Road project. If those plans are submitted by the end of November, Tomasoski said, MDOT would likely put the project out for bid in March with the work taking place next summer.
    ● New graders ordered by the Road Commission are arriving soon. The two John Deere graders were expected by Nov. 24.
    The two new Cat graders will arrive later, but Tomasoski said Caterpillar will allow
 the Road Commission to keep using its old Cat graders until the new ones are ready. The graders were acquired via a lease-purchase plan.

  To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.