ARMADA (WWJ) – The locals say it couldn’t have come fast enough: Monday morning’s reopening of the 32 Mile Road bridge, east of Romeo, after a long-term closure for repairs.
During a routine inspection back in March of 2015, a Macomb County Department of Roads crew found that the beams supporting the bridge over the Clinton River in Armada had rusted through, and the bridge was in danger of collapsing.
Northern Macomb County commuters — an estimated 15,000 a day — had to endure a 5-mile detour for the past year-and-a-half.
Bruce Township Supervisor Richard Corey said closure hurt local businesses, but residents at least tried to be patient.
“My office didn’t get a lot of complaints. But I know people, constantly, you know, go to the cafés and that and everybody’s going, ‘Oh, you know, when are they gonna open that bridge?’ Must’ve been asked that 10,000 times,” Corey said.
“But today’s the day and it’s a beautiful bridge and we’re ready to go.”
County Executive Mark Hackel said decay of this bridge is an example of local road funding problems in Michigan.
“The reality was, this bridge here, we were actually able to go to the state for this bridge fund that they have — an emergency repair bridge fund,” Hackel said. “We appealed to them because of the urgency of the situation and they came up with the funding.
The re-opening comes just in time for the busy fall orchard season that makes up a big chunk of the Romeo/Armada area’s economy.