RIVER ROUGE, Mich. (WJBK) - It has been three long years for a Downriver community who were forced to take the long way, every day. But finally, the Jefferson Drawbridge has been fixed!
A little more than three years ago the bridge was damaged when an intoxicated operator lowered it onto a ship. On Friday, the ribbon was cut and the gates were raised for the first time in three years as the bridge reopened.
It was May 2015 when a drunk operator lowered the bridge on top of a freighter. The movement damaged the drawbridge and it was disabled ever since. Until Friday.
At a cost of roughly $20 million, the repairs were finally complete as cars started moving across the bridge for the first time.
Mayor Michael Bowdler had said the city couldn't survive without people coming to downtown River Rouge and shop at the businesses. That was achieved with a flash mob of people coming down to frequent the shops. Every two weeks, 80 people would come down and spend their money to help keep the small businesses alive.
"Every small business in River Rouge and Downriver was affected by up to 10,000 cars. That (road) goes through their shops, through their cities, Downriver every day. So, every business was affected. I got a business on the street i have been here for many years and my business has been down 50%. I just wanted to say Wayne county Executive Warren Evans - thank you for fixing our damn bridge," Bowdler said.
And the flash mob? They say they'll still head downtown to help keep small businesses afloat.