Second Avenue bridge placement almost complete, I-94 could reopen Friday

Mackenzie Thompson
The Detroit News

Detroit – The move of the skeleton for the new Second Avenue bridge over Interstate 94 is almost complete after crews began working on the project last week, and the freeway should reopen to Friday morning commuters if luck holds.

"The goal is to safely open I-94 on Friday morning, however, opening is dependent upon structural engineers giving their approval," said  Rob Morosi, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation.

“We have moved the bridge across the freeway but we still have at least a day and a half to two days of setting it into place on the structure that supports the bridge, and then we need to do extensive cleanup on the freeway to get it back open to traffic."

The new bridge over I-94 at Second Street in Detroit is almost in place, and the freeway could reopen Friday.

The bridge will be the first of its kind in Michigan, with a network of cables that cross from the top of the arch to the bottom of the driving surface on both sides of the structure. 

“I think anytime you're doing something for the first time there's always going to be some challenges ...," Morosi said.

Civil engineering students at Western Michigan University have worked with MDOT to provide structural monitoring of the bridge, said Rebecca Curtis, chief bridge engineer. Using sensors installed during construction, they will evaluate structural performance during construction, conduct load testing to establish an operational baseline for the structure once it is open to traffic, and evaluate the performance of the structure over time and during seasonal changes, she said. 

The bridge will have 9-foot-wide sidewalks, 8-foot-wide bike lanes and one car lane in each direction.

Projects like the Second Avenue bridge are made possible through the Rebuilding Michigan plan, a five-year, $3.5 billion investment and the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan, which is the largest one-time investment in Michigan's infrastructure in state history according to the state.

Twitter: @Mackenziethomp