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Rebuilt Livernois Bridge Set to Open Today in Rochester Hills

The road has been closed since July.

The orange cones at the intersection of Avon and Livernois roads will soon be only a memory.

The busy Rochester Hills intersection was scheduled to reopen to traffic in all directions Monday to mark the completion of a new Livernois Bridge. A ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Road Commission of Oakland County was planned for 11 a.m. at the bridge.

The Livernois 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, city officials called the rebuilding of the bridges an "emergency" situation.

Reconstruction of the Avon Bridge began this past February. The rebuilding of the Livernois Bridge began in July. 

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 moved the project up yet one more year when funding became available.

Earlier this year, the city of Rochester Hills received a $207,000 grant to build pedestrian and bike pathways and make other aesthetic improvements at the intersection of Avon and Livernois roads. Those improvements are ongoing at the intersection.

Today's anticipated reopening of the Livernois Bridge will make traveling from north to south in the city much easier: Livernois, Crooks and Rochester Road have all been under construction this year.

Crooks Road has reopened to traffic. The Rochester Road project is scheduled to wrap up on Friday, Nov. 23.

Dorothy November 05, 2012 at 10:36 AM
It is my daily route to work, and it actually hasn't been all that bad.
lynn zoschnick November 05, 2012 at 12:03 PM
When is crooks and Hamlin going to be done? Only a portion of the road is open?
Patricia November 05, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Since everything is done, it would have been appreciated I am sure if they would have had the ribbon cutting Sunday around 4 or 5pm and this morning, a Monday, traffic could have just moved through the area and appreciated the completion instead of tying things up for the photo op today at 11 -- a weekday when the people were more available to the press. It has been a long time between both bridges, Crooks and Main Street. Taxpayers paid for for this-not those in the photos--let's just get it open,
Daryl Patrishkoff November 05, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Patricia, I just drove by the bridge twice this morning, it was ready to be opened at 7:45 am this morning, no work was being done. I agree, it should have been open this morning, do the photo op during the day today also. Delaying the opening for a photo op is stupid.
Christopher Cobb November 05, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Agreed, even though it's only one more Monday morning commute, let's not put politics ahead of the people any more than necessary.
Christopher Cobb November 05, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I can't wait for this one, it'll save me 10 minutes getting up Adams.
Rebekah Parsons November 05, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Couldn't agree more, Patricia. It's been affecting my daily commute for six months. It would have been nice to just get back to my regular route this morning. It's a refurbished bridge, not a new building, so I don't understand why there has to be a ribbon cutting ceremony at all.
Dave Duncanson November 05, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I can see why there would be irritation about the bridge being delayed 1 more day but lets not forget the fact that our Mayor/Council did a very fine job in finding the funds early to enable these projects to be completed before 2013/2014 - when they were originally planned to be done. These were far more than simple rebuilds - there was MAJOR excavation and entirely new foundations dug for these bridges. These bridges are suitable for future road expansions (please - lets not start the arguments about THAT topic yet!). Lets bask in the non-partisan glow of a government project completed ahead of schedule and under budget. THANKS Mayor Barnett and Team!
Rebekah Parsons November 05, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I don't think anyone is bashing the Mayor, the council or their efforts for bridge renovations It simply would have been more conscientious to have the ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday afternoon or very early Monday morning, so that those affected by the closure could FINALLY get back to their normal commute.
Mike Reno November 05, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Hmmm... after letting the bridges deteriorate without regular inspections, and then SUDDENLY finding that they are such a serious risk that they need to restrict traffic, and then letting that intersection be a bottleneck for well over a year BEFORE finding funding, and then having that intersection be blocked for almost a year during construction.... Oh, and also consenting to having three out of our four major north-south arteries closed simultaneously (Crooks, Livernois, and Rochester)... And now we want to tell them "Good Job!"?
Christopher November 05, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Just drove around it, lots of Politicians, bridge still closed.
Daryl Patrishkoff November 05, 2012 at 04:06 PM
True leaders look forward and see the upcoming problems and offer solutions that fix the problem with a good plan long before the problem causes serious problems. Not all things are foreseeable, but these bridges were, along with all of the other construction projects going at the same time. They do not get a free pass on this, certainly not our praise of a overall good job. I do say once the problem did arise (even though they ignored the signs) they did put together a panic plan and get it done. However it was avoidable.
Dave Duncanson November 05, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Well, last time I checked, it was not in the job description of the Mayor or Council to perform bridge inspections. I think that is the job of the Oakland County Road Commission. As far as consent goes, that is a ridiculous comment. When the funding is available you jump on it and get it done, not wait until some bureaucrat pulls the funding and you get nothing. Yes we should say "Good Job" ...unless you just need something else to whine about. Darned if you do, darned if you don't. Quit whining and enjoy the new bridges. Be gracious and let them have their day.
Aimee M November 05, 2012 at 04:07 PM
It would be so refreshing if more people could just focus on the positive side of things instead of griping and worrying about that which they can't control. Your energy would be much more useful spent finding good and doing good. This construction has been frustrating for all of us in the area but I appreciate the fact that they are both done earlier than planned and we now have beautiful new bridges and smooth roads to drive on!
Dave Duncanson November 05, 2012 at 05:09 PM
My point exactly! Some people just want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!
Scot Beaton November 05, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Road Commission for Oakland County... Though I may disagree, time to time with their planned improvements for our area; they do a great job with what they have to work with... 70%+ of their funding comes from Federal Dollars passed on to States and then on to them... thanks for getting both these bridge rebuilds done. P.S. We have a major nationwide infrastructure deficit problem in this country -- who are you going to vote for, the guy that wants to spend an additional 2 trillion on military goods our military does not want -- or the guy that wants to rebuild our national infrastructure... hear him talking all the time "let's fix our roads and bridges." U.S. War Costs Reach At Least $3.7 Trillion And Counting http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/us-war-costs-3-trillion_n_886879.html
Patricia November 05, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Taxpayers have been paying for infrastructure from the beginning of time-the bridge was in a state of deterioration for a long time--it is how government spent the money that delayed the bridge work to begin with--no one "found money"-it's called taxes. If the bridges weren't done now, they risked closure due to not being safe and/or restricting the flow of traffic. The money has been there all along. I think we are all glad this is done, but to delay it on a Monday morning for a photo op-I would have thought different and had it open to ease traffic from the get go--all the taxpayers deserved that. All the taxpayers paid for it-every one of us.
Dave Duncanson November 05, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I totally agree Scott! I have said many times what a disgrace it was that those 2 bridges were blocked off like they were for so long - due to a lack of funds. Here we are in a community (and country) with such abundant resources and we cannot even get 2 bridges repaired without seeking special funding. What a travesty! Unfortunately this is the time we live in. There seems to be no national will to do anything except spend money on defense (far past the point where it can be called DEFENSE) rather than invest in our citizens, education, and infrastructure. Sad to say but the national will which was required to build an interstate highway system or send a human being to the Moon no longer exists in the USA. We have become short sighted and worried more about protecting our own money than taking the bold moves which made us exceptional in the first place. Old, rich, white guys with a "me only" agenda are ruining this country.
Mike Reno November 05, 2012 at 06:38 PM
This makes things much clearer now. I did not realize that that the spending choices were either Infrastructure or Defense. Many of us have obviously been fooled. Here we thought the government was spending on many, many things... far beyond our ability to pay. There was some rumor that we had $16 trillion in debt... $5 trillion of which has been accumulated in just the past 4 years. Some of us -- the 53% who pay taxes -- have been drawing a line in the sand saying, "Enough is Enough"... stop accumulating debt that our children will need to repay. I did not realize that we were mistaken about the spending and debt. I'll give it another look. And that same mistake probably applies to local spending as well. I had heard some rumor -- presumably false -- that our local government had been spending a lot also... From big things like some $500,000 on engineering plans for some water tanks that we had not even decided to build... to small things, like $25,000 on an electronic sign for city hall. I'll look into those rumors as well... maybe our concern about trying to keep costs under control is unfounded.
Dave Duncanson November 05, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Funny how there is always a desire to keep costs "under control" for non-defense programs.So you are part of the 53%....big deal. Enjoy your prosperity. I am not only part of the 53% that is fortunate to have the means to pay taxes but also a part of the 100% that uses our roads and infrastructure and realizes that they have to be paid for somehow. God does not just drop them out of the sky because we are so exceptional or chosen. It is unrealistic to expect the public to vote on every line item of expenditure in a city budget. The solution is also NOT to cut taxes so far that the question of WHERE to spend the money is a moot point since there is NOTHING to spend. Meanwhile I will celebrate the fine bridges we have now and the great city leaders which helped them be built on time and under budget. Oh, by the way, I was not surprised that you take such a sarcastic and rude tone in your previous reply Mr. Reno. You were known for that when you were on the RCS Board and was one of the reasons your were voted out. I see not much has changed.
Kristin Bull (Editor) November 05, 2012 at 07:17 PM
The bridge is now open. http://patch.com/A-zr56
Mike Reno November 05, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I was not "voted out", Dave. Schools are one-party rule, uninterested in compromise or finding middle ground. It was an unproductive use of time... and I did not run for reelection. And this notion of prosperity is misplaced. These past years have been awful for everyone... everyone except the government. Many of use have had to make tremendous lifestyle changes in order to keep within our means. The government makes nothing but token gestures at scaling back. And wow... have we strayed from a conversation about the bridge! :-) I supposed the silver lining here is that the we should be done with major construction now for a while. Rochester, Livernois/Avon intersection, Crooks, M-59 exchange, Walton, University, lots of nice new roads.
Patricia November 05, 2012 at 10:12 PM
I think a lot of has to do with how and where government is spending our money--Add to that unemployment, return on investments, and the economy in general-but most of the problems stem from poor planning, unbalanced budgets, and where the government chose to spend the taxpayers money...
Scot Beaton November 06, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Mike... close Rochester Hills -- about $40 grand to study water tanks -- then about 4 years later another $40 grand with the same company to do the same study on water tanks. Then about $110 grand in preliminary engineering untill our city council caved into public pressure to halt any further venture into this foolish endeavor. New RH entrance way sign Rochester Hills leaders approve $39,000 purchase of electronic sign on Avon Road. -- Patch -- Mike... gets worse -- Bryan K. Barnett brown and army green new RH logo was designed by high-end Skidmore Studio (I have personally use their talent many times throughout my ad career) city budget cost $50,000 grand -- then I find out only six years ago Bryan K. Barnett was the Chair of the Gateway Design Committee which spent $50,000 grand designing the new city logo a Crooks and South Boulevard. So Bryan K. Barnett spends $139.000+ grand on logos and signs that don't even match! $45,000+ grand preliminary engineering Washington Rd. was spent before city council caved into public pressure and killed this project. We also have never had lobbying firm to represent us in Lansing until this year, another $70+ grand per year. Mike... I could go on and on and on. When you have time please read this OP-ED in the Oakland Press... thanks for your post.
Scot Beaton November 06, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Replace Officials To Stop Water Fund Leak "When I concluded my third term on the Rochester Hills City Council in 1997 to spend more time with my growing family, there was a nearly $71 million balance in the water/sewer fund. Today, that balance has been depleted to just under $19 million." -- Scot Beaton http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2011/02/27/opinion/doc4d67018ce9351599362197.txt
Frank D. November 28, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Today, almost 20 days after opening, they are still holding up traffic.. Now they decided to change all the overhead traffic light fixtures.. Talking about forward planning, efficiency and "customer" (read taxpayers) satisfaction..Let me also add that they still haven't finished the North bound RH turn to East Avon... Unbelievable..Can someone from the Patch talk to the Oakland Road Commission and get an update as to WHEN we will see all the lanes open WITHOUT any further traffic hold ups..? Thank you
Frank D. November 30, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Update: I just read the following "press release" on the Oakland County Road Commission website: ROAD: Livernois Road bridge over the Clinton River just south of Avon Road Project: The bridge is finished and open to traffic. The outside lanes remain closed while Rochester Hills completes work on its pathway project adjacent to the bridge. Community: Rochester Hills Completion Date: Dependent on City’s pathway project This means the ball is in the Rochester Hills court. ? (I don't believe the traffic signal issue belongs to Rochester Hills) This is how your government works.. NO COORDINATION at all..

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