(WXYZ) — Beginning Monday, construction crews will begin work on the Grosse Ile Parkway Bridge. Underwater restoration of the pier is months in the making, and it's been a huge inconvenience for drivers who have been unable to use the free bridge for more than a year.
The bridge was supposed to reopen last fall, but engineers discovered significant erosion in November, delaying permits to do the work. Residents have had to pay significant tolls as a result.
"It's still financially a burden on the whole community and on something that should have never happened," one resident said.
The closing of the free bridge happened on May 6, 2020, and left residents with only one option: take the Grosse Ile Toll Bridge to get on and off the island. It's a $5 charge round-trip if you pay cash, or $7 if you pay credit.
It was supposed to reopen last fall, but the county discovered significant erosion in November.
A 7 Action News investigation found the bridge is supposed to be re-inspected by Wayne County every three years, a federal mandate. But, there was a 10-year period where the county didn't do any underwater inspection.
It took the county, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and the U.S. Coast Guard to grant the necessary permits.
If all goes as planned, the bridge is expected to reopen in the fall of 2021.