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MDOT Replacing Pedestrian Bridge Over Southfield Freeway; Lanes, Ramps To Close In Both Directions

DETROIT (WWJ) - The Michigan Department of Transportation is warning drivers about upcoming lane and ramp closures on the Southfield Freeway in order for crews to replace a pedestrian bridge that collapsed in a crash last year.

Diane Cross, spokesperson for MDOT, said the action is taking place on both directions of M-39 at Cathedral Avenue.

"The service drive right now is blocked while we dig up old concrete," Cross told WWJ's Chrystal Knight. "Then next week, we'll start pouring new concrete on the service drive and then we'll be taking out the left lane in each direction on M-39 near Joy Road."

The ramps to and from Joy Road will also be closed for the safety of drivers and the nearby work crews, said Cross.

The closures are expected to last for about three weeks.

The $2.9 million project is being paid for by federal government emergency funds in order to expedite the bridge for community use.

The replacement bridge will include aesthetic improvements, such as decorative crosswalks and other community-developed enhancements, along with pedestrian lights to make the bridge more useful than the previous one.

The bridge collapsed on September 26, 2014 when it was struck by the bucket of a hydraulic garbage truck. The bridge came crashing down, completely blocking both sides of the freeway. The truck driver, a man in his 40s, was taken to the hospital by EMS and later pronounced dead.

For the latest from the roads, stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 during Traffic and Weather on the 8s, 24-hours a day. Check for recent incidents now on the CBS Detroit Traffic Page.

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