DETROIT (WJBK) - The Pleasant Valley Bridge over I-96 in Brighton will be closed indefinitely and will cause a serious problem for commute.
A semi that was too tall for the highway couldn't make it underneath the bridge and damaged the support beams underneath it so badly that they buckled. Demolition of the bridge started Thursday and it's already causing major traffic headaches in Livingston County.
"We heard on the news before we left that the overpass was hit so I decided to get off 59 and take another around. It usually takes me about 25 minutes, it took us about two hours today," Dave Maxheimer said.
A semi-truck with a flatbed trailer caused massive damage to the overpass at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The hydraulics on one of the three lift gates it was hauling let go, lifting the arm and hitting the bridge on eastbound I-96. The accident could've been catastrophic but only one car suffered minor damage and amazingly no one was hurt. Traffic was getting by on the shoulder as MDOT assessed the damage.
"I don't know what this gentleman was thinking but now another bridge has to come down because someone wasn't paying attention to what they were doing," Rene Lafave said.
All three lanes of eastbound I-96 are closed just east of U.S. 23 and will remain so until the bridge demoliton and clean up is complete.
"Any trucks there are used to getting off here to get into town or any of the businesses on Grand River, Kensington's going to be backed up, bad," Maxheimer said.
Westbound lanes of I-96 are also affected with lane closures expected there as well. None of this news is sitting well with Dawn Turner, who owns the 7-Eleven on Pleasant Valley Road, just half of a mile south of the bridge.
"It's terrible, we're very nervous about this," Turner said. "We have noticed a huge difference in traffic and in the amount of customer counts that we had today. This is just day one. This is going to be bad."
Drivers will now have to find a creative and alternate way to get around the unexpected road closures.
"It's gonna to be alternate route and we'll probably have to leave quite a bit earlier than normal bc everyone is trying to do the same route. There's not that roads this way, there's only so many routes to get through," Maxheimer said.