The Michigan Department of Transportation says it plans to close southbound I-75 over the Rouge River on Feb. 4, 2017. MDOT says it will take about two years to replace the bridge deck, which has been crumbling due to wear and age. Construction Engineer Bill Erben says the support columns underneath the pavement deck are sound.
“We’re going to actually strengthen them a bit to raise the load-carrying ability of the structure. But they’re in good shape, and then we’re just going to add some steel plates and beef them up to be able to hold larger trucks for many years to come.”
Erben says the main detour will be westbound I-96 in Detroit to southbound I-275 in Plymouth Township. People who live in southwest Detroit and the downriver communities can also use Fort Street, Jefferson, and I-94 as alternate routes. Erben says MDOT will also replace several other bridges on I-75 between Detroit and Rockwood. The southbound side of the bridge will be replaced in 2017, followed by the northbound deck in 2018. Northbound traffic will be maintained at all times. Commuters can keep track of the project online at www.75rougeriver.com, and on social media, too.