LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, announced on Tuesday that the Whites Bridge Historical Society has received a Michigan Enhancement Grant to be used for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Whites Bridge in Keene Township in Ionia County.
“This funding will go a long way toward making the Whites Bridge rehabilitation project a reality,” Nofs said. “The bridge was a vital part of the transportation network in western Ionia County and connected the main primary road across the Flat River in that part of the county.”
Originally constructed in 1869, the Brown truss covered bridge known as Whites Bridge, which crossed the Flat River in Keene Township, was destroyed by arsonists in July of 2013. Since that time, the Whites Bridge Historical Society has been raising funds for the construction of a replica bridge. The Michigan Enhancement Grant that the Whites Bridge Historical Society received will fund $350,000 toward the reconstruction and rehabilitation project. As a result of the bridge’s destruction in 2013, a 15-mile detour was put in place to navigate across the Flat River.
“I’ve been an advocate for this project for several years. I’m glad to finally see the Whites Bridge Historical Society receive the necessary funds to restore the bridge and reopen the crossing on the Flat River,” Nofs said.