Bridge work complete after long wait


Photo by James Mitchell
Moments before the official ribbon-cutting ceremony to reopen the Harrison Boulevard bridge, Michigan Department of Transportation crews put the finishing touches on the restored roadway. The bridge was closed to traffic in early 2010.

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — It spans a narrow gap, but one that left a deep mark for a long time. The wait will soon be over for residents of Lincoln Park and Wyandotte to again cross the border via the Harrison Boulevard bridge.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon was held amid earth movers putting the final touches on the new bridge, and was attended by Lincoln Park Mayor Patricia Diaz Krause, Wyandotte Mayor Joseph Peterson, Hennessey engineer Jim Hollandsworth and other local officials.

“The businesses are relieved,” Diaz Krause said of the long halt to traffic crossing the south branch of Ecorse Creek. “Plus the emergency vehicles had to go around.”

The bridge has been closed to traffic since January 2010, after structural problems were found. Originally approved under the state’s Local Agency Bridge Program, redoing the bridge was scheduled to begin next year, but last fall the green light was given for the $1.4 million Michigan Department of Transportation project. MDOT funded 95 percent of the costs, with the balance supplied by the cities of Wyandotte and Lincoln Park.

Diaz Krause said the restored bridge was adjusted for better position municipality, and provide long-awaited relief to local businesses such as Pizza King and Korkis Market on Harrison Boulevard, which reported a decline last year of about 50 percent of their business.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)