NB I-75 at Rouge River Bridge reopens after semi fire

The Detroit News

Northbound Interstate 75 traffic on the Rouge River Bridge has reopened Friday morning after a fire involving a semi-truck briefly closed the freeway.

It’s unknown at this time if there are any injuries, but a check of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s freeway video system initially showed a column of smoke billowing from the truck that had stopped in the far right lane.

The fire comes a day after the Michigan Department of Transportation closed for two weeks one lane in each direction on the Interstate 75/Rouge River Bridge for repairs.

That repair comes after two recent massive potholes on the stretch of freeway near Schaefer. It has previously planned maintenance for the road before winter.

Repair crews are expected to work on the overpass this weekend in the area between Schaefer and Springwells. The two right lanes of the freeway will be closed in both directions from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.

“But first we have to get a bridge inspector out to see if there is any damage below the surface before determining what repairs or costs are needed,” Cross said. “The truck fire is not expected to add an additional time to the repairs planned for this weekend.”

MDOT had originally planned to close only one lane for repairs on the bridge, but decided it would be too dangerous for crews within the work zone.

“But drivers, cars and trucks, were flying at high speeds yesterday, last night and today, making the single lane too dangerous,” Cross said.

“We then blocked two lanes, which dramatically cuts into the available lanes for drivers...because people won’t lower their speeds and follow safety laws when in construction zones or when workers are present.”

The bridge, originally built in 1967, has been deemed structurally deficient. A major $100 million repair project will begin on the 1.6-mile Rouge River bridge in spring 2017.

On Monday, a 3-by-5-foot hole opened on northbound I-75 just north of Schaefer. Last week, a 6-by-6-foot hole opened in the center right lane.

The closures as scheduled are:

■From 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday NB and SB I-75 will each have two right lanes closed between Schaefer and Springwells.

■From 5 a.m. Monday to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, NB and SB I-75 will each have the right lane closed.

■Through 5 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, the NB I-75 ramps to and from Dearborn will be closed. The I-75 ramps to and from Springwells will be closed. The NB M-85 (Fort Street) ramp to northbound I-75 will be closed.

■From 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 12 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, NB and SB I-75 will each have the left lane closed.

■From 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, to 5 a.m. Monday, Nov. 16, NB and SB I-75 will each have the two left lanes closed.

■From 5 a.m. Monday, Nov. 16, to Thursday, Nov. 19, NB and SB I-75 will each have the left lane closed.