Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Re-opening of Lilley Road bridge is celebrated

Canton Municipal Services Director Jade Smith, left, former 
Canton Supervisor Phil LaJoy, Wayne County Executive 
Chief of Staff  Assad TurfeWayne County Director of 
Public Services Beverly Watts, Wayne County Commissioner 
Melissa Daub, Canton Clerk Michael Siegrist, 
Canton Supervisor Pat Williams, Wayne County Executive 
Warren Evans,  Canton Trustee Anne Marie Graham-Hudak, 
Canton Treasurer Dian Slavens, Canton Trustee Sommer Foster, 
Canton Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Paden, 
and Canton Trustee Steve Sneideman celebrate 
the reopening of the long-closed bridge on Lilley Road.
It took more than 2 ½ years, but last week, officials celebrated the re-opening of the newly-reconstructed Lilley Road Bridge.
Among those on hand at an official ribbon cutting at the bridge were Canton Township Supervisor Pat Williams, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Wayne County Commissioner Melissa Daub, and Wayne County Director of Public Services Beverly Watts.

Elizabeth Taylor,  field engineering manager
for the Wayne County Roads Commission,
drives the first vehicle across the new bridge with
passengers Township Supervisor Pat Williams
and County commissioner Melissa Daub. 
Photo by Dave Willett 
The bridge, on Lilley Road north of Michigan Avenue, was closed by county officials in April, 2017 due to safety concerns. Inspectors and engineers cited weakened steel support beams and a badly deteriorated concrete deck at the 100-year-old structure which spans the Rouge River. After closer inspection, engineers concluded that the historic structure could not be saved and would have to be completely rebuilt.
Elizabeth Taylor, a field engineering manager for the Wayne County Roads Commission, who led the project. said the bridge-replacement project went smoothly.
“We followed the (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy) protocol because the structure is crossing a waterway, obviously, so there were some permitting issues that we had.”
The bridge earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, commemorating the design and unique construction. According to historical documents, the bridge was built in 1923 on Telegraph Road, but was moved when Telegraph was widened. The bridge was moved to Lilley Road in 1933, according to historians.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans commented that the reconstruction of bridges will become more frequent throughout the county as the structures age. “Which is why we need to come up with additional ways to fund these projects,” Evans said.