Jun 2, 2022 - News

Scoop: State spends little on Detroit pedestrian bridge repairs

Data: MDOT; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

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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