ROCHESTER HILLS — After many months of weight restrictions, limited lane use and a complete bridge rebuild, the Livernois Road bridge over the Clinton River is open to traffic.
“This is a main artery in our city,” said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett at a bridge opening ceremony Nov. 5. “It is extremely important for traffic movement.”
The Livernois bridge over the Clinton River, near the intersection of Avon and Livernois road, had been closed to all traffic since the beginning of July, when the old bridge was demolished and construction of the new bridge began.
“I am extremely glad this is finally over,” Barnett said. “It is the question I am asked most often — ‘When will the bridge open?’ Now I can get my grandparents off my back.”
The $3.2 million project was paid for with a combination of federal, state and county funds.
Area motorists will see a fully functional intersection at Avon and Livernois for the first time since early this year. The Avon bridge over the Clinton River, at the same intersection, was closed to all traffic from February to June 27 during a $3.2 million replacement project. Fewer than two weeks later, on July 9, the Livernois bridge closed to all traffic.
Barnett said the Livernois bridge opening was “like Christmas,” and he delivered his own version of a famous poem that he titled “The Night Before the Bridge Opening.” In his poem, Barnett chronicled the construction schedule and all the city and county officials involved, finishing with “Happy bridge crossing to all, and to 2012 bridge construction — good night.”
The bridge was originally scheduled to be rebuilt in 2014.
“This is two years ahead of schedule,” Barnett said. “We got the money moved up.”
Road Commission of Oakland County Managing Director Dennis Kolar said the Livernois bridge was originally constructed in 1972, when Avon Road was widened. “This is the first time since 2011 that all five lanes are open (on the bridge.)” Kolar said.
“It is nice to get it done,” said RCOC Chairman Eric Wilson. “It moves the traffic.”
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