Free bridge on Grosse Ile closed for emergency repairs
The Wayne County Bridge closed for emergency structural repairs Wednesday night with no certainty as to when it would reopen, according to county and Grosse Ile Township officials.
There was no indication when the free bridge, which rises over the Trenton Channel and connects Grosse Ile to the mainland, would reopen. A press release from the county said a date for reopening would be provided "once (the) project work is complete."
"We don't think it will take a really long time," Whitney Lewis, communications director for the county Department of Public Services, told The Detroit News on Wednesday night. "It is our hope to get it open again."
Drivers returning to the island on Thursday afternoon waited upwards of 50 minutes to cross the only remaining bridge, a toll bridge, on the northern end of the island.
In a Facebook post, Grosse Ile Township Supervisor Brian Loftus said township officials learned about the need for repairs on Wednesday afternoon. He said he learned "emergency repairs to at least the decking were required."
Lewis said consultants performing a routine inspection on the span on Wednesday spotted deterioration on the deck.
"We took a proactive approach … to figure out what repairs are needed," she said.
The suggested detour for eastbound travelers is northbound West Jefferson Avenue to Bridge Road, then Bridge Road to Meridian Road and back to Grosse Ile Parkway.
Westbound drivers are advised to take Grosse Ile Parkway to Meridian Road, Meridian Road to Bridge Road, then Bridge Road to West Jefferson Avenue and back to Grosse Ile Parkway.
The free bridge is one of two that connect Grosse IIe to the mainland. The privately owned Grosse Ile Toll Bridge is on the northern end of the island. Drivers waiting to cross over to Grosse Ile on Wednesday night and forced to use the toll bridge faced 10 minute waits in line.
The free bridge wasn't the only bridge crossing that faced problems Wednesday.
Earlier, the Fort Street bridge over the Rouge River near Oakwood was down after it became stuck in its up position, Michigan Department of Transportation officials said.