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      Dam removal sparks big debate on bridge replacement

      A joint meeting was held between the Grand Traverse County Road Commission and the Board of Commissioners Wednesday evening regarding the fate of the Cass Road Bridge, how it will be replaced, and the best option for the driving public.

      When the Department of Environmental Quality decided that the Boardman River Dam was a hazard, Grand Traverse County knew that something needed to be done with the bridge there too.

      "It's a perfect storm, because they both have to be taken care of," said Grand Traverse County Chairman, Herb Lemcool.

      Three options are being discussed at tonight's meeting. The first, removing the current bridge on Cass Road and moving it 300-feet East with the help of a $3-million state grand to do so.

      The second option is to completely remove the current crossing and instead abandon the nearby railroad tracks and build a road that runs along side them that would connect to Beitner Road.

      The third option is connecting Hartman and Hammond roads by building a bridge. An option that some officials are in favor of, with the hope that it will help with some of the traffic congestion.

      "All you got to do it look at Division Street," said Lemcool. "That's huge. Also Airport Road. If you go down through there at certain times during the day time, you're in a parking lot. So there is a need for some sort of East/West mobility, another way to get across the river."

      7&4 News attended the meeting. Officials made the decision to revisit the issue at a later date and discuss details further.