Grosse Ile Bridge Company's Working Plan for the Closure of the Wayne County Bridge During 2007 April 5, 2007
"Prediction is difficult, especially about the future." ~Yogi Berra, baseball Hall of Famer & popular philosopher Actually, we experienced the future back in 1979...hopefully we’ll go back to the future!
Presentation Overview I. 8 Key Facts about the Grosse Ile Bridge Company and the Toll Bridge II. Summary of the Wayne County Bridge Renovation Project III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already IV. What the GIBC is Doing Right Now V. What the GIBC is Planning to Do VI. What You Can Do to Help VII. More Detailed Information and Point of Contact
I. 8 Key Facts about the Grosse Ile Bridge Companyand the Toll Bridge 1.Edward W. Voigt was the founder, primary financial backer (owner of 99% of the stock) and first president of the Grosse Ile Bridge Company (GIBC) which was established on May 1, 1912. The Toll Bridge has been continuously owned and operated by descendants of E.W. Voigt since 1913. Paul Smoke, the current owner and president of the GIBC, is the great-grandson of E.W. Voigt. 2. The Toll Bridge was financed and built by the GIBC between 1912 and 1913. The Toll Bridge opened to the public on November 27, 1913 (Thanksgiving Day). 3. The GIBC built the Toll Bridge with private funding and has never received a penny of Grosse Ile taxpayers' money for operation and maintenance of the span. 4.No vehicles owned by Grosse Ile Township or Grosse Ile Township Schools pay the user fee toll to cross the Toll Bridge. Local, county and state law enforcement and public safety vehicles do not pay to cross the bridge. All Wayne County-owned vehicles, and most state and federal government-owned vehicles, cross the span for free. Each month government-owned vehicles -- the vast majority owned by Grosse Ile Township -- cross the Toll Bridge approximately 1,000 times without paying a toll.
I. 8 Key Facts about the Grosse Ile Bridge Companyand the Toll Bridge (Cont'd) 5. The GIBC annually pays approximately $55,000 in taxes to Grosse Ile Township while also annually paying about $55,000 in taxes to the City of Riverview. 6. Since Paul Smoke took over as president of the GIBC in 1982, the company has spent more than $10 million on upgrades and major maintenance. The GIBC received numerous awards for major maintenance performed during 1985 to 1995 from prestigious engineering and infrastructure organizations. 7. The Grosse Ile Police and Fire chiefs have confirmed that the GIBC in compliance with Grosse Ile Township's recently revised Emergency Response Plan. During an emergency, local public safety officials have the authority to take control of the Toll Bridge. 8. Under Michigan law, the GIBC has the power of eminent domain because it is a bridge company. The Toll Bridge cannot be condemned by a railroad.
II. Summary of the Wayne County Bridge Renovation Project l For safety and to preserve the bridge from deterioration, the bridge deck and other major components of the Wayne County Bridge must be replaced at an estimated cost of $6 million. The Wayne County Department of Public Services has publicly announced the following schedule: DateAction Early March 2007: Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) makes the bid package public. Early April 2007: MDOT makes a contract award. Mid-April 2007: Wayne County Commission approves the contract award made by MDOT. Early May 2007: Winning contractor starts the project (bridge closes). Mid-December 2007: Target date to finish the project (Wayne County has stated that the project could take up to 8 months). Source: Wayne County Department of Public Services
II. Summary of the Wayne County Bridge Renovation Project (Cont'd) * Old Decking Removal * Various Structural Steel Replaced * Railing Replaced * Old Railing Removed * Decking Replaced * Walkway Replaced Source: Wayne County Department of Public Services
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already l The Toll Bridge is in excellent condition and no major maintenance needs to be done during the Wayne County Bridge closure period. Since Paul Smoke took over as president of the GIBC in 1982, the company has spent more than $10 million on upgrades and major maintenance. lThere are five major components to Toll Bridge and all have been renovated or upgraded since the 1980s. * Swing span * Bridge deck and road bed * Superstructure * Piers * Toll plaza
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already (Cont'd)Swing span lSwing span (i.e., the center section of the bridge) bearings and gears were replaced in 1994. > The new components have a design life of 50 years based on 2,000 swings per year (there were less than 700 swings in 2005 and even a lower number during 2006). 1913 1994
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already (Cont'd)Swing span (1994) lSwing span project won awards for engineering excellence from the: * American Consulting Engineers Council, * Consulting Engineers Council of Michigan and * Engineering Society of Detroit
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already (Cont'd)Bridge deck on the swing span (1985) lThe bridge deck in the swing span was replaced in 1985.
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already (Cont'd)Bridge deck on the swing span (1985) lThe 1986 bridge deck replacement project won an award from the Consulting Engineers Council of Michigan.
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already (Cont'd)Road bed - Pony Truss (2002) lThe pony truss and road bed was replaced in 2002.
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already (Cont'd)Bridge deck (2004) lThe bridge deck and many support beams were replaced in 2004.
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already (Cont'd)Superstructure (2006) lThe superstructure is solid -- no evidence of significant deterioration. > Most worn areas of the superstructure were painted during 2007.
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already (Cont'd)Piers (1990's) lThe piers are solid -- no evidence of significant deterioration from the riverbed to the bridge deck. > All piers were reinforced during the 1990s and are armor plated.
III. What the GIBC Has Accomplished Already (Cont'd)Toll plaza (early 2000's to mid-2000's) l Designed in early 2000's, approved by the City of Riverview in 2002, the toll plaza was built in 2004 and opened in October 2004. The Bridge Pass was added in May 2005. > Bridge Pass processes vehicles faster and $1 user fee toll rate is 17% lower than the token rate of $1.20.
IV. What the GIBC is Doing Right Now l Widening the west bound lane of the Wayne County-owned section of Bridge Rd. from the toll plaza to Jefferson. > The GIBC has offered to pay 100% of the cost for this work.
IV. What the GIBC is Doing Right Now (Cont'd) l Designing, producing and installing signs on Wayne County-owned section of Bridge Rd. from the toll plaza to Jefferson. > The GIBC has offered to pay 100% of the cost for this work.
IV. What the GIBC is Doing Right Now (Cont'd) l The GIBC has long-standing protocols to follow the orders of local public safety officials and is in compliance with Grosse Ile Township's new Emergency Operations Plan. December 11, 2006 Township Board Meeting Greg Karmazin: O.k., so then it's accurate to say that the existing protocols that we have in place right now are sufficient for our emergency management for this plan? Duncan Murdock: [He nods his head in agreement from his seat in the first row of chairs] Bill Barron:Should be...[unknown remarks]. * * * Kurt Kobiljak: O.k., any other questions? Greg Karmazin: Actually, just my final point on this. Chief, would it be fair to say that during an emergency incident you do have control over the Toll Bridge because you have the ability to shut it down? Kurt Kobiljak: I think that's probably been asked and answered in this deposition, but chief if you can answer that, go ahead. Bill Barron: I would say in a true emergency we would probably take the bridge over. Greg Karmazin: O.k., thank you.
IV. What the GIBC is Doing Right Now (Cont'd) lThe GIBC will construct a new operations building which will include a customer service center for the Bridge Pass and token sales as soon as Riverview issues the necessary approvals and permits. > The one story, 1,000 square foot, masonry sided building will take approximately 3 months to construct. > The city has been reviewing the building and site plans for more than 16 months.
IV. What the GIBC is Doing Right Now (Cont'd) lThe GIBC has established a new web site named Toll Bridge Facts.com that will feature news and information about the county bridge closure period as well as general information about the bridge. http://www.TollBridgeFacts.com
IV. What the GIBC is Doing Right Now (Cont'd) lThe GIBC has established an e-newsletter named "The Connection" that will feature news about the county bridge closure period as well as general information about the bridge. There will also be a printed hard copy version of the newsletter sent to all Island households. Sign up for the e-newsletter through the "County Bridge Closure Information" section of the Toll Bridge Facts.com web site
V. What the GIBC is Planning to Do lNo user fee tolls will be collected (gates will be up) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from out-bound (west bound) traffic leaving the Island for the mainland. Round-trip tolls will be collected only from in-bound (east bound) traffic coming to the Island. l The Bridge Pass will be the fastest and most efficient way for the GIBC to collect the user fee toll from in-bound (east bound) customers coming to the Island. The GIBC will, however, continue to sell and accept bridge tokens. lMaintain vehicle size and weight -- 50 tons, 8 tons per axle -- and size restrictions. Oversized vehicles will be prohibited from crossing the Toll Bridge during rush hours. lImplement the most restrictive policy on opening the Toll Bridge for marine vessels that theU.S. Coast Guard authorizes.
VI. What You Can Do to Help 1.Buy aBridge Pass and encourage family members, friends and neighbors to do the same. 2. If you do not buy a Bridge Pass, during the first week of the closure period please voluntarily consider not traveling in-bound (east bound) across the Toll Bridge at the height of afternoon rush hour between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. 3. Encourage the Township Board to work closely with the GIBC to ensure that planning for the closure period is accomplished in a cooperative manner (i.e., following the example set in 1979). 4. Consider what the GIBC could do with local organizations, businesses and residents to promote the fact that, just like was the case in 1979, the closure of the Wayne County Bridge will not reduce property values nor will it diminish the quality of life on the Island!
VII. More Detailed Information and Point of Contact If you have any questions or comments about the GIBC's planning for the county bridge closure period, please contact: Greg Karmazin, GIBC Director of Community and Government Relations Phone at (734) 718-8465 E-mail at email@example.com. For more information, view the GIBC's web sites at: http://www.grosseilebridge.com http://www.tollbridgefacts.com