Bridge inspectors from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) discovered a critical problem on University Avenue Bridge over Interstate 75 during a regular inspection Friday to the critical nature of the condition of the beams on the bridge has been determined that it is not safe to carry traffic. MDOT notified surrounding towns, including Rochester Hills, yesterday afternoon that the bridge will be closed for approximately one week.
““We have a center pier that holds up the I-beams that go across University,” MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross told WDIV. "A weld has become rusted and structurally separated a bit.”
This closure, according to MDOT, will not repair the bridge but will only be to allow for the installation of temporary supports. This means a permanent solution will need to be approved and funded.
In addition to closing the bridge MDOT will also close both the eastbound loop ramp to southbound Interstate 75 in the westbound loop ramp to northbound I-75. People exiting northbound I–75 will be forced to turn right onto University Drive.
They also announced additional traffic restrictions may be necessary at Cross Creek Parkway or Opdyke Road. This is probably due to the importance of this bridge Chrysler headquarters. Chrysler employees working north of Auburn Hills use this ramp to access the interstate and it is unclear how the Chrysler employees will elect to detour.
“There is no easy way to get to Lake Orion from headquarters,” noted one Chrysler employee first learning about the closing. “Squirrel Road is already backed up when I leave and more traffic will be dumped onto Squirrel without 75”.
The University Drive interchange is also a key route from I-75 to Oakland University. Your examiner recommends students from areas south of the campus entrance located in Auburn Hills follow their normal route to campus. Returning home will require heading south on Squirrel Road to M-59 West and then entering I-75 at the heavily congested M-59, I-75 interchange.
Southbound traffic heading to either OU or Chrysler will need to exit at the Palace of Auburn Hills going south. Taking a left on Walton Blvd. will lead drivers to southbound Squirrel Road and the OU and Chrysler campuses.
See the MDOT notification here.
Recommended reading about Rochester and Rochester Hills
- “Rochester and Rochester Hills”, part of the “Images of America” series.
- “Rochester, Michigan Photographs”. Coffee table book with great pictures of Rochester.
- “Earth Eyes, Rochester Hills, Michigan”: surprising stories and hidden secrets.
- “A Pitch in Time”, the story of baseball in Rochester written by Robert Lytle, owner of Lytle Pharmacy.
- “Life’s Leadership Lessons”: 53 anecdotal leadership lessons mostly from people in the Detroit area.