Hole in Miller Road Bridge shuts down traffic Friday

Posted at 3:35 PM, Nov 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-26 00:04:29-05

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Motorists were not prepared Friday to have one of the main arteries near South Dearborn and the Ford River Rouge Complex cut off.

“I’m lost. I don’t know where to go,” said a Canadian man who only identified himself by his first name.

He had driven in from Canada to make a delivery to Ford. He was left debating Friday morning how to proceed.

7 Action News reached out to both the Wayne County Roads Division and the Dearborn Police Department for more information.

In a statement to 7 Action News, the Wayne County Roads Division said:

The right lane of northbound Miller Road at Rotunda Road in Dearborn is currently closed after the Rotunda Road Bridge was struck by a vehicle. Due to the severity of damage, Wayne County will solicit the assistance of a third-party consultant to conduct an emergency inspection of the bridge. In the interim, the Wayne County Roads Division and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) have installed a temporary barrier wall. The lane will remain closed pending the results of the emergency inspection.

Crews were out at the site Friday morning, working to repair the large hole on the northbound side of the bridge. Mangled metal and missing chunks of concrete made it look as though something large had punched through the side of the bridge.

The lack of police presence and messaging about a possible detour were glaring to motorists.

“Super inconvenient,” admitted Dearborn resident James Johnson. “I was hoping to get some Dunkin Donuts this morning, but I guess we have got to take the long way around.”

He said he didn’t know anything about the closure.

“It would have been nice to hear something or even see a couple more signs on the way over here,” said Johnson.

He explained it wasn’t the first time this stretch of road has proved to be a challenge for him.

“We haven’t been here that long, about a year, but ever since we’ve been here, it’s been rough,” Johnson said.

The Miller Road Bridge is the same bridge Governor Whitmer highlighted in a May 2021 press conference to discuss why the state was investing in critical road infrastructure. During that press event, Whitmer announced an investment of $300 million dollars in local bridges.

The governor’s office said the last time the bridge was rehabilitated was 1983 and had an overall rating of being in critical condition.

According to MDOT’s website, ”A bridge in serious or critical condition often needs expensive emergency repairs, temporary supports, or false decking installed to prevent falling concrete from striking vehicles.”

There is a parking lot, not a road, below where the current hole in the Miller Street Bridge exists.