New bridge, roundabouts on LaPlaisance Road open

·2 min read
The LaPlaisance Road bridge over I-75 in Monroe Township has opened with two roundabouts. It's been closed for months.
The LaPlaisance Road bridge over I-75 in Monroe Township has opened with two roundabouts. It's been closed for months.
The LaPlaisance Rd. bridge over I-75 is open.
The LaPlaisance Rd. bridge over I-75 is open.

The LaPlaisance Rd. bridge over I-75 and its two new roundabouts opened Wednesday afternoon for the first time to the delight of first responders and motorists headed to and from Bolles Harbor, Avalon Beach and other neighborhoods along the Lake Erie coastline in Monroe Township.

The bridge, which had been closed since February for reconstruction, is open in both directions again and motorists no longer have to take a detour. Miller Brothers Construction was the primary contractor for the project that included building a new crossing over the freeway just south of the former bridge along with two roundabouts on both sides of I-75. The contractor has more work to do to finish the project, but those activities will have to wait until spring, said Aaron Jenkins, a media spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation that is overseeing the bridge effort.

Earlier report: MDOT to build new LaPlaisance Road bridge

“Not much will be going on during winter, which begins, essentially, after this week,” Jenkins said in an email Thursday.

In the spring, the contractor will resume operations and finish the cleanup work, pavement markings, tree planting and a little bridge painting, he said.

More roundabouts are planned on bridges over the freeway in Monroe County, he said. Preliminary work has already begun to replace the bridge over the Newport Rd. interchange north of Monroe. This will be the next interchange conversion, he said.

Walsh Construction Co. from Grand Rapids is the primary contractor for the $28 million effort on Newport that includes, among other things, building a new crossing over I-75 just south of the existing bridge along with two roundabouts similar to those that were built on LaPlaisance.

The northbound ramp entrance from Newport was closed last month and crews began work along shoulders of Newport to prepare for the main job to begin in the spring. The new bridge on Newport has been on a waiting list for several years, said Berlin Township Supervisor David Reaume.

Part of the improvement includes relocating the township’s water main under the freeway to make room for the roundabouts, Reaume said.

The LaPlaisance roundabouts are the second ones to be built in the county. The only other one in use is at the US-223 interchange at US-23 (Exit 5) in Whiteford Township.

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: New bridge, roundabouts on LaPlaisance Road open

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