Cynical Synapse

Fri, 21 Aug 2009

Aftermath of the 9 Mile Bridge Collapse

Filed under: Budget, Driving, Economy, Government, Legal, Life, Michigan, People, Rants — cynicalsynapse @ 5:12 pm

After claiming he would fight his speeding ticket, Saied Haidarian-Shahri paid the $150 fine earlier this week. State Police ticketed Shahri after he lost control of his car on July 15th. His accident caused the destruction of the 9 Mile bridge over I-75. Shahri’s car struck a tanker truck, separating the trailer from the cab. The tanker’s 14,000 gallons of fuel erupted in flames, weakening the 9 Mile bridge’s steel beams and causing the collapse. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

Now the Michigan Attorney General wants insurance companies to pay $3.4 million toward rebuilding the 9 Mile bridge over I-75. Under Michigan’s no-fault insurance laws, the state wants insurance carriers for Shahri, as well as the tanker truck and a follow-on produce truck, to share in the costs. The amount covers expenses for last year’s remake of the bridge and this year’s clean up after the accident as well as repaving I-75 so it could reopen.

Original plans by MDOT called for replacing the 9 Mile bridge, with an intended opening by the end of the year. That’s now changed since current bridge design standards call for engineering a bridge to last 80 years. That means MDOT needs a bridge designed to accomodate plans to add a lane in each direction on I-75.

So, instead of $2 million to replace the bridge, now the project will cost about $10 million. Although MDOT claims the feds will pick up 90%, they don’t have an answer on their request for emergency funding. Oh, and there’s no start date for the project, but a contract won’t be let until end of September. A likely completion date is now probably next summer at best, although MDOT remains optimistic.

More commuting hassle. Not to mention the economic impact on local businesses.

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