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Grosse Ile Parkway Bridge set to reopen after residents adapt to closure

Wayne County

Updated at 5:12 p.m., November 20, 2019:

Wayne County says the Grosse Ile Parkway Bridge is expected to re-open on the evening of Thursday, November 21st.

The bridge was closed suddenly last week because of deck deterioration.

That left residents with only one way to and from their homes on a private toll bridge.

The Parkway Bridge will be shut down again next year for an extended period for previously scheduled repairs.

Original post from November 18, 2019:

Residents of Grosse Ile are facing longer and more expensive commutes - after the emergency shutdown of one of the island's two bridges last week.

Wayne County shut the free public bridge down after a bridge consultant lowered the bridge's load rating from 26 tons to 0 tons, due to decking deterioration. The deck is the surface of a bridge.

The other, private bridge that remains open assesses a $5 round trip toll.

Resident Anne St. Onge says it took her an hour and a half to travel five miles from her workplace in Wyandotte to her Grosse Ile home the day the public bridge was shut down without notice.

Delays are far shorter now, she says, but she's having to pay more out of pocket for daily trips.

"My son plays hockey in Trenton," says St. Onge. "My daughter dances in Trenton. And I think all-in-all on Saturday we spent $15 trying to get back and forth to our regularly scheduled activities."

St. Onge says the most important thing is safety, however. So she's trying to be patient.

"People are quick to get upset, rightly so, because it is expensive," says St. Onge, "And there have been delays. But we need to step back a little bit. I mean we do live on an island, it's our choice, and we need a bridge to get here, and we need a safe passage."
St. Onge says what's perhaps even more frustrating is the condition of the roads on the island, which is a long-term issue. She says Church Road, one of the two main roads on Grosse Ile, is in terrible shape.
There's no estimate yet how long it will take the county repair the bridge.

Wayne County includes this information on a web publication, Frequently Asked Questions About the Grosse Ile Bridge Closure:

Wayne County has received preliminary design plans for the Grosse Ile Parkway Bridge and has begun staging work onsite based on these designs. Final design plans outlining complete repairs will be in early this week. They are needed to give an estimated timeline for the work that is needed

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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