Attention Readers
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, C & G Newspapers has temporarily suspended its print publications. We look forward to resuming our print operation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you stay healthy and safe.
 The missing bridges will cause traffic detours and delays in Hazel Park. City officials are concerned this could impact public safety response times.

The missing bridges will cause traffic detours and delays in Hazel Park. City officials are concerned this could impact public safety response times.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Bridges come down in Hazel Park as I-75 expansion continues

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published March 6, 2020

 Pictured is a view from the east side of Interstate 75, looking north. Construction crews recently removed several bridges in Hazel Park as the next section of the I-75 expansion project gets underway.

Pictured is a view from the east side of Interstate 75, looking north. Construction crews recently removed several bridges in Hazel Park as the next section of the I-75 expansion project gets underway.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

HAZEL PARK — A stretch of Interstate 75 was closed the last weekend of February as crews began removing bridges in Hazel Park for the ongoing freeway expansion project, and city officials are bracing for impact in the form of increased traffic and response times for police and fire.

The affected bridges include the bridges at Woodward Heights Boulevard and Meyers Avenue, slated to reopen in late June and late July, respectively. The pedestrian bridge at Harry Avenue is also closed and expected to reopen in late June. In the meantime, the pedestrian bridges at Bernhard and Highland avenues remain open as alternate routes for pedestrians.

The east John R Road U-turn to north I-75 turnaround bridge is being permanently removed, and the west John R Road U-turn to south I-75 is currently planned for permanent removal as well.

At press time, additional overpasses were planned for closure and demolition the week of March 6, including the permanent removal of the south Nine Mile Road U-turn to north I-75, and the John R Road bridge, expected to reopen in August. The Nine Mile Road bridge will remain in place, but it will be closed for the month of August as the piers under the bridge are reconfigured.

Rob Morosi, with the Michigan Department of Transportation, said the bridge work is involving, but will prove valuable in the long run.

“This is the most challenging portion of the entire modernization project due to this section being below street level. In addition to rebuilding the pavement and overpasses, crews will be constructing retaining walls, sound walls and installing a state-of-the-art drainage system,” Morosi said. “The bridges have reached their design life and need to be replaced for the safety of the community and motoring public.”

While the bridges are built anew, the I-75 overpasses at Eight Mile and Nine Mile roads will remain open to traffic, as will the I-75 overpass at Shevlin Avenue.

Anticipating an increase in response times for police and fire, the city of Hazel Park will lean on its mutual aid partner in Ferndale to efficiently service residents on I-75’s west side.

Officials also anticipate a spike in traffic along detours on Woodward Avenue, John R Road, and Hilton and Campbell roads.

“We’re going to try to meet our own obligations. It will slow down things, but we already have extraordinarily fast response times anyways. We can depend on Ferndale, if necessary, to assist us,” said Hazel Park City Manager Ed Klobucher. “We’ll get there. It’s an inconvenience, but we’ll do what we need to do to protect our residents.

“I would like to see the state throw more resources at this project so they can finish it faster,” he added. “If they’re not going to be able to stagger the bridges as we asked — and obviously they will not — then I’d like the state to at least put in more resources so these bridges can be reconstructed sooner and have much less of an impact on our residents.”

Advertisement