By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
Michigan Department of Transportation and Wayne County officials updated Downriver residents May 16 on the I-75 bridge reconstruction over the Rouge River, which they said is about 25 percent complete.
The Rouge River bridge deck has been removed, the beams are visible and decking can be seen below the beams to make sure all construction materials are maintained above, and nothing is dropped.
MDOT Engineer Dan Grupido said the I-75 Downriver construction gives them a chance to replace the old Goddard Bridge, which is over 2,000 feet long, over the Sexton Kilfoil Drain and an old railroad spur, now abandoned, with two smaller spans.
“Smaller bridges create less maintenance, and it also provides some better sight distances, flattens it out a little bit in that area so you can see down the road,” Grupido said.
He said the stacks of plastic foam blocks that motorists may see in the area will be used between retaining walls to reduce settling from the load placed upon the poor soil, which is prevalent throughout the metropolitan Detroit area.
He said the project also is using carbon fiber reinforcement cast in beams which are non-corrosive, unlike steel cables in beams, which are subject to corrosion.
Grupido said they hope the Goddard Bridge over the Sexton Kilfoil Drain will be done by October.
“At that point we are going to switch traffic again and work on the northbound bridge, and late next summer we are hoping to be out of there and do the southern half,” Grupido said. “We’ve got this project set up in a way that when we get the southern half done – we think it will be done before the Rouge River Bridge – so we can get that portion opened up.”
MDOT Engineer William Erben said there is rehabilitation work on other I-75 bridges south of Goddard and north of West Road.
“We want to get it all done,” Erben said. “We want to bother you for only two years, and not three, four, five years., so your patience is appreciated.”
Call 313-407-0705 for 24-hour project hotline with questions or concerns, or click here.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])