OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Construction on a new bridge over the Paint Creek is finished, and Orion Road is now open. The road had been closed to all traffic since the end of June.
“It is a beautiful new bridge,” said Oakland Township Supervisor Terry Gonser. “We are excited to have it open again.”
The new bridge features a center lane and an extended turn lane, enlarging the former two-lane bridge to four lanes. The $1.7 million project was paid for with a combination of federal, state, county and township funds.
The original bridge, located just south of the Paint Creek Cider Mill, was constructed in 1922.
“The new bridge has a lot of attributes the other one didn’t have,” Gonser said. “Now it has a pedestrian walkway. We have some decorative lighting — kind of historic lighting to designate the area as a special place.” The bridge is located in Goodison, an Oakland Township historic area that was first settled in 1825.
The 10-foot-wide pedestrian path on the west side of the bridge is designed to link to future Paint Creek Trail connections.
“This will be a real focal point for Goodison,” Gonser said. “Long-term, we want to try to clean up the Paint Creek area, between the (Paint Creek Cider) Mill and the creek — maybe put in picnic tables. Now, you can’t see the creek; it is so overgrown.”
According to Road Commission for Oakland County Public Information Officer Craig Bryson, the bridge was originally slated to be completed Aug. 15.
“Rain delayed it,” Bryson said. Although the new bridge is open, final work will continue until approximately Sept. 12.
The bridge carries more than 7,000 vehicles per day, Bryson said. The project included reconstructing the approaches to the bridge and the replacement of curbs, gutters and guardrails. Drainage was improved along the bridge approaches, and stream bank stabilization was included near the bridge.
Orion Road is also currently undergoing a surface overlay project in two sections, from Flint Street in Lake Orion to Adams Road, and from Snell Road to Rochester Road.
“The road is open but is reduced to one lane periodically,” Bryson said. Two-way traffic is directed by flaggers in the overlay areas.
The new surface is designed to last for five to 10 years.
“This is a very quick, very simple overlay,” Bryson said.
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