Construction is expected to begin this month to replace the vehicular bridge at Lake Front Park. The new bridge is expected to be completed before Memorial Day 2021.

Construction is expected to begin this month to replace the vehicular bridge at Lake Front Park. The new bridge is expected to be completed before Memorial Day 2021.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Lake Front Park vehicular bridge to be replaced

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published December 20, 2020

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS/ST. CLAIR SHORES — The vehicular bridge at Lake Front Park on Jefferson Avenue will receive a makeover.

Construction was expected to begin the week of Dec. 21 to replace the bridge. The current bridge is made of timber, and a new bridge is needed. The current bridge reportedly has one more year left of its lifespan. It will be removed, and a concrete bridge will be constructed. The timber will be discarded after it is removed.

Lake Front Park is located on Jefferson Avenue in St. Clair Shores, but the park is owned by Grosse Pointe Woods.

According to Grosse Pointe Woods Director of Public Services Frank Schulte, the new bridge is expected to be completed before Memorial Day 2021. About 20 heavy trucks per year cross the vehicular bridge, along with plenty of SUVs and cars belonging to residents who use the park. The heavy trucks that use the bridge often come to Lake Front Park to drop off materials, including dirt and wood chips.

The City Council unanimously approved the project at the Nov. 9 council meeting. The city received four bids, and a contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, which was E.C. Korneffel Co., of Trenton, in the amount of $678,444.88.

According to city officials, the low bid for the project came in higher than expected, as there recently has been an increase in costs throughout the industry. As per an Oct. 29 city memorandum from Schulte to City Administrator Bruce Smith, a construction contingency not to exceed $50,000 also was recommended for any unforeseen problems.

In addition, Schulte further recommended construction engineering fees to be provided by the city’s engineer, Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., in Shelby Township, in an amount not to exceed $70,000. The total project will not exceed $798,444.88, the memorandum states.

The bridge replacement was included in the 2020-21 fiscal year budget in the Municipal Improvement Lake Front Park Bridge account in the amount of $612,000. Because the bid came in higher than expected and a construction contingency was recommended, a budget amendment was required from the general fund balance in the amount of $186,444.88 into the Municipal Improvement Lake Front Park Bridge.

In an email blast sent Dec. 11, residents were reminded the Lake Front Park Activities Building is currently closed due to COVID-19. The email blast states that once it reopens, entrance to the Activities Building will not be available through the main park entrance because of the bridge construction. A temporary entrance will be available for residents to access the south side of the park at the service entrance from Lake Shore Road adjacent to the Milk River.

Once the bridge is completed, the temporary entrance near the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House will be used as a permanent second gate for residents to gain access to the back of the park, where several amenities are, including the fishing pier, playground and miniature golf course. The second is located off Jefferson, which becomes Lake Shore Drive. A gate guard will be on-site to check resident passes as they enter the park.

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