Jun 21, 2022 - News

New $26 million bridge marks engineering first

The bridge being built at a Wayne State parking lot to limit freeway impact to I-94.
The bridge being built at a Wayne State parking lot to limit freeway impact to I-94. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

A new bridge is set to be moved from a Wayne State parking lot into its new home above I-94 sometime next month.

Why it matters: The $26 million Second Avenue bridge is part of a I-94 modernization project to rebuild more than 70 bridges in poor condition.

The intrigue: The bridge is going to be placed over I-94 using self propelled modular transporters. Engineers will lift the bridge using hydraulic jacks, then drive the SPMTs into place before setting the bridge onto them and moving it to 1-94.

  • The move is an engineering first in Michigan and will join just a handful of structures throughout the U.S. to be installed using the process, David Harris, a senior construction engineer at MDOT, said in a recent community forum.

Details: MDOT identified the highly used bridge as a "community connector" and designed it with enhanced, nonmotorized accommodations and aesthetic improvements.

  • The new structure will have one driving lane in each direction, modern landscaping, roadway level lighting and a wider sidewalk to enhance movement across the bridge.
  • The bridge will also be illuminated on the outside of its arch cables, "providing a pretty dramatic look during evening hours," Mark Smith, an MDOT project engineer, said at the forum.

What's next: : MDOT is planning to start the move on July 10 with an open date sometime in August.

  • I-94 will be closed in both directions between I-75 and M-10 (Lodge Freeway) for seven days and then again for another five days to ensure safety.
  • "It's going to take a lot of time before we're very comfortable with being able to open to traffic," Harris said.
MDOT rendering of Second Avenue bridge
Rendering of completed bridge. Courtesy: MDOT
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Detroit.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Detroit stories

No stories could be found

Detroitpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Detroit.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more