It has been an event more than a year in the making.
On Friday afternoon, the newly built Avon Bridge re-opened to traffic at one of the busiest intersections in Rochester Hills.
It has been completely closed to traffic since February.
Workers removed the barricades and opened the road at 2:15 p.m. Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett, shouting "thank you" to the workers who had gathered on the corner, was the first one through the westbound part of the intersection.
The has been more than a year in the making: Last February it was found to be rapidly deteriorating; all but one lane in each direction had been closed since then. In a finding that compounded traffic congestion at the busy Avon-Livernois intersection, the Livernois Bridge was also discovered shortly after to be deteriorating.
The Livernois Bridge will be .
The Avon Bridge project involved removing and replacing the bridge over the Clinton River just east of Livernois. The new bridge has been constructed of pre-stressed concrete and contains the same five lanes as the previous bridge. The project included repaving, new guardrails and relocation of a water main.
It cost about $2.6 million. A Michigan Local Bridge Program grant covered $2.5 million of the cost, and the Oakland County Road Commission covered most of the remaining cost. The city of Rochester Hills contributed $32,000 for the installation of decorative lighting and hand rails as well as some pathway construction.
The city of Rochester Hills also and make other aesthetic improvements at the intersection of Avon and Livernois roads.
The grant was awarded by the Michigan Department of Transportation; Rochester Hills is one of four cities to receive MDOT grant funding this year.