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Posted on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 10:37 a.m.

East Stadium bridges opened for rush hour Wednesday

By Amy Biolchini


Cars travel across the newly rebuilt Stadium Boulevard bridges in Ann Arbor Wednesday after workers removed barricades.

Amy Biolchini |

  • Update: The bridges opened to traffic in both directions about 4:10 p.m. Wednesday.

The rebuilt East Stadium Boulevard bridges are now expected to open by the evening rush hour Wednesday, an Ann Arbor official said.

By 4 p.m. workers had removed heavy equipment and machines from the bridge and a street sweeper had cleaned the bridge deck. Pedestrians and bicyclists were using the bridge. The barricades were still in place, but workers appeared to be preparing to remove them.

Michael Nearing, the city's senior project manager, told about 3 p.m. that workers had finished with striping work on the bridge, but still had cleaning work to do before opening the bridge to traffic.

Earlier Wednesday, he said he expected the bridge to open to traffic about 3 p.m. Residents and motorists have long been anticipating the opening of the rebuilt bridges over State Street and the adjacent railroad tracks could be reopened.

Wednesday morning, workers were installing a new traffic signal at the intersection of Stadium Boulevard and South Industrial Highway.

The new bridges replace two crumbling spans that were closed for reconstruction about a year ago.

The opening comes on the exact date officials had planned to have the project finished.

Nearing has said no ceremony will mark the bridges' opening. Instead, the city plans a dedication ceremony in the spring once landscaping and other work is finished.

The city also said motorists can expect lane closures during the hours of 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the next couple of weeks as workers put the finishing touches on the bridge.



Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 5:30 a.m.

Amazingly on schedule and under budget? This should have been done by end of summer with the mild winter and spring. Also agree with BlueEyesGirl, no repavement for Stadium, or repaving of Madison for that matter, and chaos of summer road project Carmageddon is less than impressive IMO. Thank goodness Packard, State, and Hoover might return to non-freeway conditions. Sorry, no Kudos here to a2 Proj Mgmt office.


Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 12:55 a.m.

Soooooooooooooooooooo happy! The Tappan area students who have to drive to Pioneer are soooooo happy too.

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

I just drove over 'the bridge'. Boring, ugly and if we paid 12 Million for this, someone got robbed. It's NOTHING like the charming Broadway Bridge (which was cited before work began) and I recall all the political babble how is would be world class and stunning and beyond cool. That didn't happen. It's a bridge, common place and a snooze. And the fact the road leading to the bridge still looks like the surface of the moon is a nice touch too.

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

From the Ann Arbor bridges Facebook page: "OFFICIALLY opened E. Stadium Blvd to traffic at 4:10 p.m. Thank you all for your patience, and your support. We opened it on schedule, and as promised. Word of caution, there will be traffic impacts in the next few weeks as crews finish up details. And, the entire project will not be complete until early 2013."


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

I am not impressed. The Army Corps of Engineers could have done this in a week.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

I agree Lola, but I don't think this was budgeted for 2 billion dollars.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

According to the Ann Arbor Bridges people on Facebook, the bridges are now open to traffic (as of about 4:15).


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

A later post from that account: "OFFICIALLY opened E. Stadium Blvd to traffic at 4:10 p.m. Thank you all for your patience, and your support. We opened it on schedule, and as promised. Word of caution, there will be traffic impacts in the next few weeks as crews finish up details. And, the entire project will not be complete until early 2013."


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

Just tried. Not open.

Ron Granger

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Too late. I've already biked across it countless times.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

Why wasn't the road from the bridge to Main Street repaved during this time? It's probably one of the worst sections of pavement in Ann Arbor. Would have made perfect sense to repave while the road was already closed down!


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.

I part at Crisler, so I know how bad that little section of road is. Would have made so much sense to do it now, rather then wait and inconvenience us all again.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

The road was still open up to the Golf Course. Of course, don't want to inconvenience the University!

Spencer Thomas

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

Amazingly on schedule and apparently under budget. What a contrast to the other major construction project that bedeviled my life over the last couple of years. (The new parking garage.)


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

WOW That was timed perfectly! Three days after the last Michigan football home game!


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

Epic selfing. Almost as good as your political posts.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

Yeah when I saw the headline my initial thought (and what lead me to comment) was that this was NEXT Wednesday and then I realized they meant today. Oops!


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

One more game, they play Iowa on Saturday. ;-)


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

I'm curious how the bike track interacts with the hand rails. I think the bike track is a good idea, but will it put the rails too far out of reach, making it difficult for people to use the rails if they need them? (And I hope the permanent hand rails aren't those wooden ones.)


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

In the picture I saw earlier (which has been replaed with a different picture), it looked like the raised bike tracks were on both sides of the steps. The rail would then have to be outside of the bike track. Without knowing how wide the track is, I started wondering if it would be a comfortable reach for people who need the railing for support.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

I'm not sure I understand your concern about the bike lanes. They are part of the street. The sidewalk is outside of them and directly adjacent to the handrails. How would bikes interfere with the hand rails?

Amy Biolchini

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 5:46 p.m.

I've been living in Ann Arbor since April and haven't experienced the wonder of driving across town on Stadium. I can't wait for this.

Ann English

Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

When I read in an article yesterday that westside Ann Arborites could get to Trader Joe's more easily with the bridge open, I thought whoever wanted to use A LOT of Stadium Boulevard to get there doesn't mind the numerous traffic signals encountered on the way there; from its west end to Trader Joe's, there are eleven traffic signals. I never go there straight from home, but usually from Packard, so I use residential streets between Packard and Stadium to get there; just get on Stadium from St. Francis. Of course, I'm glad THAT road construction is finished, right in front of the Lamppost Plaza.


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 10:15 p.m.

Now you can drive to Trader Joe's more easily!!


Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.



Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

It would be better to have updated the first story rather than add a second story. Either way, glad to know there is a time to go along with the date. I went by the bridges at 9:30 am and they were closed to traffic inspite of one comment in the first story saying they had opened.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

MRunner- That is best for some but other readers may not catch the update. We had a number of residents saying it was already open so we wanted to clarify for everyone. Here is a photo Amy snapped a few minutes ago of the new traffic lights going up: