Worker OK after being hit with debris from Lodge Freeway wall

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — One worker was transported to a hospital with minor injuries Friday after being struck with debris from a retaining wall as construction crews worked on the southbound Lodge freeway.

Michigan Department of Transportation officials say it's unclear exactly what occurred around 8 p.m. while crews worked on the quarter-mile stretch near Seven Mile.

Looking northbound on the southbound lodge service drive the top half of the retaining wall fell on the freeway.

MDOT crews were working to remove weight on the top and excavating behind the wall, "so it will safely stay up, which it will," said spokeswoman Diane Cross. 

"We planned on removing a 3-foot ledge, about 300 feet, on the top of the retaining wall, where there is a railing," she said. "There was saw cutting on the concrete cap of the 12-foot wall when 200 feet fell and we brought another 100 feet down."

The debris hit a construction worker, who officials say was able to walk into the ambulance.

"It was very scary. We are lucky and it could have been much worse," Cross said.

A portion of the top half of the retaining wall on the Lodge Service Drive fell on the southbound Lodge Freeway on Friday night, the Michigan Transportation Department and Michigan State Police said.

Work continues on the service drive and nothing has slowed down the weekend removal of the wall caps, she said.

"What actually holds the wall up are steal tiebacks that go 35 feet back into the ground maybe every 15 or 30 feet. So there's maybe 15 or 30 of them holding that wall up. It's not going anywhere unless we bring it down," she said.