Livernois Bridge, Too, Will Be Rebuilt This Summer

Two years sooner than planned, the other deteriorating bridge in Rochester Hills will be reconstructed.

The forecast for summer construction in Rochester and Rochester Hills just got more interesting.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett announced Monday night that the reconstruction of the Livernois Road bridge over the Clinton River will begin in mid-July — two years sooner than had been planned.

The bridge was found to be in an advanced state of deterioration in February 2011, soon after similar conditions were discovered on the Avon Road bridge at the same intersection. At the time, .

began three months ago; the bridge has been shut down and Avon Road has been closed at the Livernois Road intersection. It is expected to reopen to at least one lane of traffic in June.

Funding for the Livernois bridge replacement had originally been approved for 2014; the estimated cost was $2.7 million. The Road Commission for Oakland County worked to obtain a Michigan Local Bridge Program grant for $2.5 million, which then allowed them to put the bridge on the schedule for 2013. (The road commission will provide the remainder of the funding.)

The road commission then recently moved the project up yet one more year. Barnett said it was not unusual for road projects to move from one year to another depending on funding.

The bridge replacements are two of four major road construction projects in Rochester and Rochester Hills this year. The Main Street Makeover is ongoing in downtown Rochester; the street is being torn up and rebuilt and it will close to traffic completely beginning next Tuesday.

In addition, Crooks Road near Hamlin Road will be resurfaced this summer; this project will coincide with the Livernois Bridge construction.

patricia ozybko May 08, 2012 at 12:27 PM
GREAT NEWS!!!!! The road construction has given me an opportuninty to wander thru interesting neighborhoods and business sections of the area, finding places I never knew existed.
Brendan May 08, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Great news the businesses will suffer more losses.
Bonnie Kilberg May 08, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Really??? We will now have to seriously consider moving the 5th annual Homeruns 4 Heroes Charity Baseball Tournament...Can't get teams to fields in a half way timely matter..too bad as this year it is International with teams from Canada as well.this year..Not to mention the already hurting businesses....This is just rediculous....
DON HETRICK May 08, 2012 at 02:51 PM
F. Jensen May 08, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Let's analyze this, for all the folks that live on the north side of Rochester. We can't drive through downtown at all for 12 weeks this summer, beginning next week. We can't use Avon as a detour to get to Livernois and then go north, because the Avon bridge is being rebuilt, at a snail's pace I might add. No big deal, we will just cut over to Livernois 1 mile south, at Hamlin, and then go north all the way up Livernois. Oh wait, won't be able to do that either, becuase this seems to be a good time to re-build the Livernois bridge too. What D.O.T. think-tank came up with THIS master-plan??!! All 3 projects at the same time?? Completely irresponsible!! May as well tear-up Dequindre at Avon now, the construction-mote separating the north side from the south would be nearly complete then. Wandering through interesting business sections in the area that we may not frequent will certainly benefit those businesses, but I'm sure that residents of those interesting little neighborhoods would rather not see the significant increase in cut-through traffic that they are about to experience.
Carol Jackson May 08, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Why would the businesses necessarily suffer more losses? Do that many people take Livernois to go downtown? From my house, I can walk in via the Clinton River Trail. Maybe they ought to temporarily add lights to the trail just for the summer.
Allison May 08, 2012 at 03:11 PM
It's amazing how they couldn't get the money and now all of a sudden they can. Aren't they also supposed to close Crooks when Avon opens again so that they can extend the lane through to Hamlin? I'm just excited about more people cutting through my neighborhood, ignoring the 25 mph speed limit and the stupid one that Oakland County sheriff puts up too that lets you know you are exceeding the limit.
Kristin Bull (Editor) May 08, 2012 at 03:25 PM
The Avon Bridge is expected to reopen mid-June. The Livernois Bridge construction will begin in mid-July. There may be some overlap of the construction, but there should not be an overlap of both total bridge closures.
Peter Griffin May 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I just want to know who the "genius" is who scheculed this road work?? The bridges should have been done 2 years ago!! Why were we driving on unsafe roadways for over 2 years??? Why tear up 2 major north-south roadways at the same time?? Again, who is the "genius" who schedules this stuff?
Peter Griffin May 08, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Again, about the road planning "super genius" in Rochester Hills...when Crooks Road was being resurface/redone, why did they stop short of Hamlin Rd??? Seriously??? They couldn't finsih the job at that time??? They couldn't go 1000 more feet???? Seriously??? Was it a union thing??? Who plans this stuff??? Is it the same person who let the "Historic home" by Bordines conviently go into a state of disrepair so it could be torn down "legally"???? Again, who do we have making decisions in this city??? Is Kwame in a back room somewhere??
David Gifford May 08, 2012 at 04:33 PM
You can still drive through Rochester; there are plenty of roads that parallel Main: Walnut, Water, East, Pine, Oak, Wilcox, Elizabeth and the two alleys. They will just be a lot more crowded. Large scale projects like these are usually based on receiving money from the state and local government. I'm sure it was a timing thing. The other option is to shut the bridge down due to safety issues and let it sit closed for a year or two until they planned to rebuild it. I agree that the timing is awful, but we must endure these kind of things every so often to improve infrastructure. We are all in this together and sometimes we have to sacrifice our roads, travel times, privacy and peace of mind for a greater good. Time will pass either way and soon it is a distant memory like the rebuilding of the Parkdale or Tienken bridges or the resurfacing of Walton. This too shall pass.
Peter Griffin May 08, 2012 at 04:58 PM
The projects don't bother me as much as the lack of brains shown by the planning -- you don't rip up 2 major north-south roadways and one east-west roadway at the same time. Didn't the planner have any type of project planning courses in grad school??? The person/persons planning these projects probably don't even live in this area; they probably aren't even impacted by the construction. By the way, the Walton Blvd repaving project was a bust....when going westbound on Walton, btwn Grosse Pines and Brewster, you still get a nice "bumpy" ride in the right lane. Nice fix. Real nice bang-up job. This corrupt administration will still do whatever it wants, whenever it wants -- such as the Livernois/Tienken "circle of death". Again, doing things however they want.
Jo Nielson May 08, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Two different cities. Two different city councils. I don't mind the construction because I know that the end result will be better traffic flow at the intersection of Avon and Livernois. The bridges need fixing and I'm glad the repairs are coming sooner rather than later. The backups on Avon had become insane because people haven't been allowed to use the right lane at the light. I started avoiding that corner long before construction started because it's just a mess, especially at peak travel times. At peak travel times, it's not unusual for cars to be lined up from the light all the way up to the Home Depot and that creates problems for everyone who lives/works around Rochester College. So, I will be glad when the bridges are complete and traffic will get back to "normal". I know I'm going to hear about how "sacred" the corner of Tienken/Livernois is, but I'm in favor of the roundabout. Traffic flows a lot better at the corner of Hamlin and Livernois than it did in the past. The corner of Tienken/Livernois needs a revamp because Tienken is a mess during peak driving hours. It's a real mess between all the large trucks/school buses/commuters in the mornings/early evening. You can't have it both ways. You can't build businesses in the area and then get ticked off when the traffic starts coming to those locations. A roundabout is a logical solution to keep traffic flowing at the corner.
Erin May 08, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Pushing up is better than pushing it back 2 years! It's my understanding that road funding is complex and often tough to coordinate timing. We'll be happy when it's done. Here's a thought I passed along, "bridge in a weekend". Not sure if it's applicable to this particular project, but it's being done now in areas of U.S.: "Did Someone Order an Instant Bridge?" - "This will be the new normal,” said Victor M. Mendez, the head of the Federal Highway Administration http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us/rapid-construction-techniques-transform-infrastructure-repair.html Pretty cool, bringing in some pre-fab pieces instead of building all onsite. Costs, safety and quality comparable. No prolonged traffic snarls, and savings to local businesses by nearly eliminating commerce disruption. And good PR for Oakland County if we could be the first to bring in this cutting edge technique.
Larry Allen May 09, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I'd rather have routes tied up for one summer, rather than for the next two as well, after having endured last year at Hamlin Circle and the bridges this year. Painful, yes, but the reward of not having to endure yet one more summer of construction in the area is great news.
Sahithi Allu May 09, 2012 at 07:48 PM
My complaint is not that I don't want the work to be done, but to be planned better, there are two main roads being out of service for months with no efficient detour routes. It's just frustrating for people having to commute south on either of those two roads.
Peter Griffin May 10, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Sahithi --- you get it.....EXACTLY!! It's the total LACK of planning. It is the lack of anyone with any 'grey matter between the ears' working in the construction planning area of our city government. Again, they probably live on the west side of Rochester Hills and aren't impacted one bit by any of this construction...they could care less about detours and adding 20 to 30 minutes to peoples work commutes. By the way --- why does downtown Rochester need such a face lift with the road?? Seriously...a complete tearup?? Wouldn't a resurface have sufficed? A resurface would have been cheaper and faster. They could have given the left over money to the schools so they wouldn't be running a deficit. The road will be ruined in 3 years anyway with the way the OC road commission DUMPS salt in the winter. Most people in Rochester/Rochester Hills own 4WD or AWD vehicles (or at least everyone has the option to purchase/lease one) and can do without salt on days with less that 4 to 6 inches of snow. NO one needs salt on a road when there is 1/4 of an inch of snow and no ice. Again, nice way to waste our money on things we don't need. Dump salt all over the nice new road and see it fall apart, then the whole nightmare starts over again. Can't stant these people.
Peter Griffin May 10, 2012 at 01:56 AM
By the way, traffic circles aren't that great. If one gets put in at Tienken and Livernois, how are the people who live in the subs east of Brewster and west of Livernois (off Tienken) supposed to turn left (or right) out of their subs --- where is their traffic break??? Constant flow of traffic means no one gets out of their sub on heavy traffic days.
Kathy Gladd May 10, 2012 at 01:40 PM
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE drive slowly through the subs. I live on Dressler and people take it as a cut through to Rochester Rd. People drive like maniacs through there and there are kids that play by or in the street (no comments about the parents letting them play there, the fact is that they do). I saw kids on bikes along the curb almost get hit by someone not paying attention....The only good thing is that it will be over sooner rather than later.
Karie Kitchen Vigeant May 15, 2012 at 11:58 AM
I agree with Larry. I'd rather get it over with in one summer, no matter how inconvenient, than drag it out another couple years. Kind of like a bandaid, would you rather take 3 years to rip it off, or just get it over with in one quick rip of a summer. No one is crazy about the strain it will put on businesses and traffic. I'm not excited that it will require me to drive 5 miles out of my way to go to work and take my kids to school. But I guess I prefer the inconvenience now, while it's already in full swing rather than drag it out 2 more years.
Robert DiTommaso May 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM
These are complex and expensive projects. They are openly discussed at the city council meetings, which are very sparsely attended. There is currently a debate going on regarding funding for police services after the current millage expires. A major concern expressed at the meetings is that any attempt at a millage renewal or increase will be shot down by the voters, yet those same voters don't mind playing arm chair quarter back and denouncing all the improvement work that the City has garnered. There are billions of dollars of unsafe roads and bridges in MIchigan and across the country. We can't fix them all at once, and most of them won't get fixed at all if the funding is diverted to pay for emergency services. There is a lot at play here, and sure it is frustrating to sit in traffic, but most communities aren't getting the repairs we are seeing, so, I for one don't mind a little inconvenience for one summer to have the long term benefit.
Mike Knows May 20, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Joe you no no clue about the safety and welfare of the public when it comes to winter driving. I can only assume that you are one of the people that drive 70 miles an hour in a snowstorm because you have 4wd. as for the Mainstreet project IT WAS needed, in addition to the road they are replacing water mains and sewers that date back to the late 1800's to early 1900's, they are extremely un dersized for the current downtown businesses
Peter Griffin May 20, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Really Mikey. All people who drive 4x4s drive 70mph in a snowstorm....right. (FWD gets stuck easy, doesn't it --- you sound like the typical 4x4 hater) The only time I have put the throttle down in deep snow (12+ inches during the winter if 2010-2011) was when my daughter needed to get to the ER or die. 911 said because of the weather, it may take EMS 30 minutes to respond. I drove 45mph (safely) and got het to the ER in under 10 minutes as she started to turn blue. You are the clueless one. We always have 2 4x4 or AWD vehicles in the garage for just such an emergency. Whats the matter, your W2 so small you cannot afford a 4x4? Are you some "greenie" who says, "Hey look at me, I drive a Prius!"? I'm sure the lug nuts on my 4x4 take more torque to tighten than your "econo" car puts out. As for the Rochester tear-up....the money could have been better used to help reduce the school's budget shortfall. It's not like the water main was breaking every year. One other thing, my truck just burned up all the gas your econo car saved --- thanks Clueless Mikey.
Peter Griffin May 20, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Robert, It's not that we don't want them done; it's just the timing of it all. There seems to be no thought in the planning of these projects. It also seems like a certain group of the city council always votes together...just like in allowing the historic home by bordines to be demolished. Everyone knows the guy who bought the home kept leaving doors and windows open to "assist" the home going into a total state of disrepair sooner than it would have on its own. Residents of the neighboring sub would close the doors so no vandals would get in, then two days later, the doors were unlocked and left open again. Nice way to bend the rules. City council thought this was ok?


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