The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) tomorrow morning (Wednesday, Feb. 9) will close the Silverbell Road bridge over the Grand Trunk Western Railroad tracks in Orion Township due to the continued deterioration of the bridge.

The bridge, located between Lapeer and Giddings roads, had been schedule for closure in the near future so the bridge could be demolished and replaced. However, RCOC Board Chairman Eric Wilson today called a special meeting of the Board of Road Commissioners for this Friday, Feb. 11, at 9 a.m. to accept the bids for the bridge replacement, to authorize RCOC Managing Director Brent Bair to execute a contract with the low bidder and to expedite the process.

“Safety concerns dictated that we had to close this bridge immediately,” Wilson said. “This bridge is critical to the community, to the General Motors Orion Plant and to other important businesses in Oakland County, and we want to ensure that the road is closed for the shortest amount of time possible. Fortunately, we were in a position to be able to move ahead the construction phase of the project and we determined that we had to do that,” Wilson stated.

As a result of the Board’s action, the low-bid contractor is expected to start work on the bridge replacement project on approximately Feb. 28. Silverbell Road will remain closed at the bridge until approximately June 30.

During the closure, the detour route will be Lapeer Road (M-24) to Brown Road to Giddings Road and vice versa.

The bridge replacement project will cost approximately $4 million. Of this amount, $2.6 million is being paid for through a Michigan Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) grant which is intended to support transportation projects that help to attract or retain jobs. This bridge serves the main truck access route for the GM plant.

The remaining $1.4 million of the cost will be split evenly by RCOC and the Grand Trunk Western Railroad.

The increased deterioration of the bridge was detected during a re-inspection of the bridge today by RCOC’s contracted bridge specialists. Two lanes of the bridge had previously been closed (in November 2009) due to its deteriorating condition.

About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at

Speak Your Mind