Spanning the Headwaters of the Jordan River and Deer Creek

May 9, 2024

Project Highlights

Project Type

Three Stream-crossing Replacements

River Miles Connected

Jordan River (40.85 Miles), Deer Creek (9.6 Miles)

Location of Project

Antrim and Charlevoix Counties

Wildlife to be Benefited

Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Steelhead, Salmon, Mottled Sculpin, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and 14 species of mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies.

Deer Creek and Fuller Road (#WI-28)

Jordan River and Jordan River Road (East) (#WA-3)

Jordan River and Jordan River Road (West) (#WA-5)

Project Overview

CRA is closing in on three critical sites in the Jordan River Watershed. The project will replace the last two remaining undersized structures on the river’s mainstem, found at Jordan River Road, East and West. In addition, a third site in Deer Creek, where the stream flows under Fuller Road, will undergo a dramatic transformation.

Three timber bridges will replace the degraded and plugged culverts, directly addressing decades-old issues at each site. This collective effort will eliminate fish passage barriers, erosion concerns, and excess sedimentation, benefiting Jordan’s overall health and habitat.

Photo One: Staff from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation tour site #WA-3 (Jordan River and Jordan River Road-East) in the summer of 2023.

Photo Two: CRA Program Director Kimberly Balke measures the river’s velocity at site #WA-5 (Jordan River and Jordan River Road-West). The undersized culverts create a velocity barrier to fish and other aquatic species.

Photo Three: An undersized culvert forms a plunge pool at site #WI-28 (Deer Creek and Fuller Road).

Spring 2024 Update

CRA Program Director Kimberly Balke is thrilled to report that significant project milestones have been crossed off the work plan. Funds for project design were secured in 2020, and the designs for each bridge are now complete. State permits have been obtained, and federal permitting is nearing completion.

Moving towards the final phase, the Antrim and Charlevoix County Road Commissions accepted construction bids in March 2024. We are pleased to announce that ground is tentatively scheduled to break on all three sites late this summer

A Quality Backdrop

The Jordan River, Lake Charlevoix’s largest tributary, provides quite the ecological backdrop to the region. Considered a pristine cold-water stream, the Jordan is designated as a natural river and blue river trout stream by the State of Michigan. It gracefully winds through the Jordan River Valley, an expansive 18,000-acre block of state-owned forest. The watershed is home to many species, including brook trout, brown trout, steelhead, salmon, mottled sculpin, and 14 species of mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies.

Photo Four: An aerial photo captures the beautiful Jordan River Valley.

Photo Five: The Jordan River was the first to be designated ‘wild and scenic’ under the State of Michigan’s Natural Rivers Act in 1972.

Photo Six: Site #WA-3 is spotted splintering the Jordan River from above.

This project represents a milestone for CRA, as it undertakes its first simultaneous design and construction of three major crossings. This initiative signals a heightened level of efficiency and impact. Stay updated on project developments by following our social media channels and visiting this website page!

Projects like this are not possible without the help of our funders and partners.

We’d like to send a special thank you to:


Charlevoix County Community Foundation | Antrim and Charlevoix County Road Commissions | Conservation Resource Alliance | Friends of the Jordan River | Raven Hill Discovery Center | Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians | Bureau of Indian Affairs | Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians | Natural Resources Conservation Service | National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration | Michigan Department of Natural Resources | Michigan Department of Environment | Great Lakes and Energy | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service | National Fish and Wildlife Foundation | Great Lakes Fishery Trust | The Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow Foundation | DTE Energy Foundation | Walters Family Foundation | Serra Family Foundation | The George Fund | Frey Foundation | Ted and Jane Von Voigtlander Foundation | Oleson Foundation | Trout and Salmon Foundation | Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council | Antrim County | Paddle Antrim | Scientific Anglers | OHM Advisors