Scoop: State spends little on Detroit pedestrian bridge repairs
The state spent zero dollars on repairing Detroit's pedestrian bridges in four of the last five years, data supplied exclusively to Axios shows.
Why it matters: Two pedestrian bridges have been closed since May due to dangerous conditions, including one near Corktown where a man fell through the bridge while walking to a Tigers game.
By the numbers: MDOT spent $174,000 on repairs at two bridges in 2018, the only year it paid for repairs from 2017-21.
- About $1.8 million was spent removing six pedestrian bridges in the same time span.
- This year, $1.12 million has been spent on repairs.
What they're saying: The spending data reflects a lack of concern for pedestrian bridges in a city where many people don't have access to a vehicle, Todd Scott, executive director of the Detroit Greenways Coalition, tells Axios.
- Based on the data, bridges are seemingly neglected until people stop using them, then torn down, Scott says.
- "What they're doing is demolition by neglect," Scott says. "There's enough money, it's a question of priorities."
Context: MDOT omitted work by maintenance crews on smaller bridge requests from its data .
- Three bridges removed over I-94 will be replaced.
- In response to criticism that the bridges are neglected, MDOT spokesperson Diane Cross wrote in a text to Axios: "MDOT works very hard, every hour of every day, to ensure public safety for everyone."
The latest: MDOT double checked all of Detroit's poorly-rated pedestrian bridges after the partial collapse near Corktown, and the state is now deciding whether to modify its inspection procedures.
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