Grosse Ile bridge repairs to begin Saturday, county says

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Grosse Ile — Emergency repairs were expected to begin Saturday on the Wayne County Bridge after the span closed suddenly Wednesday night, county officials said.

The biggest question, though, of how long the bridge will remain closed to traffic, remains up in the air at least until next week, when the county said it expected to receive designs for all needed repairs.

The Grosse Ile free bridge was shut down Wednesday for structural issues. County officials remained uncertain Friday when it would reopen.

"We will not know the full extent of the repairs until receipt of all designs," the county said in a statement. "After receipt of all designs, the county will communicate with the township and public on the timing of the closure."

The Grosse Ile Parkway bridge over Trenton Channel, which is free for vehicles to cross, closed due to emergency structural issues Wednesday after county officials received information from bridge consultants about deck deterioration. The bridge is one of two that carries traffic to and from Grosse Ile. The Grosse Ile Toll Bridge at the island's north end remains open, but drivers must pay to cross it.

The county said it received some preliminary designs for the repairs Friday and expects work to begin Saturday.

After receiving designs for the work, the county said it will notify the township and residents about how long the bridge shutdown will last.

The closure of the free bridge wasn't planned but was necessary, county officials said Friday, answering criticism about its sudden closure Wednesday night that left motorists waiting in line at the toll bridge.

It was "not planned but was an expedient response in the interest of safety," the officials said.

Some drivers returning to the island on Thursday waited more than two hours to cross the  toll bridge, as lines backed up each direction on West Jefferson Road, as well as Sibley and Pennsylvania.

Grosse Ile is an island township of about 10,000 residents in the Detroit River, with its own school district and downtown area.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_