Jackson Railroad Bridges Replacement Project

Start: March 2020     End: November 2022
Investment: $19.7 million
What Is Being Done?


ackson Street Railroad Bridge Replacement
View Jackson Street bridge model

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is replacing two 100-year-old railroad bridges over Jackson and Mechanic streets in the city of Jackson. These railroad bridges are on a segment of railroad owned by MDOT within the federally designated high-speed rail corridor between Chicago and Detroit/Pontiac, which supports Amtrak passenger service and Norfolk Southern freight trains. The project not only enhances this regionally significant rail corridor, but it also carries local significance as a key component to revitalizing downtown Jackson by improving safety and mobility for motorists and pedestrians.  

Construction began in March 2020, starting with advanced utility relocation in the project area and is expected to last through July 2021. Actual construction on the Jackson and Mechanic railroad bridges is expected to begin in spring 2022 and end in November 2022. The project also includes reconstructing the Blackstone Road grade crossing and approaches, replacing approximately 1,300 feet of railroad corridor retaining walls, reconstructing and lifting approximately 4,000 feet of railroad track, and adding a nonmotorized pathway under the Mechanic Street railroad bridge. The two bridges will be replaced utilizing accelerated bridge construction techniques. 

How Much Roadway Clearance Will There be With the New Bridges?

The Jackson Street bridge will be raised to provide approximately 14 feet, 6 inches of clearance. For Mechanic Street, the proposed clearance will be 10 feet, 7 inches. Physical constraints, such as the M-50 (Louis Glick Highway) intersection, the Jackson and Lansing Railroad grade crossing, the Grand River water table, the nearby railroad bridge over this river, and the Francis Street grade crossing all limit the ability to greatly improve the proposed clearance at Mechanic Street.

Safety Benefit:

There will be detours on local streets and periodic lane closures on M-50 (Louis Glick Highway) to accommodate construction. Intermittent, full closures are expected on Jackson and Mechanic streets at the railroad bridges from April 2020 through November 2022. Railroad traffic will be halted for one week when the new bridges are installed.