Southwest Detroit residents concerned about crumbling bridge

Huge concrete slab fell multiple feet from structure

Concrete falling from railroad overpass in Southwest Detroit
Concrete falling from railroad overpass in Southwest Detroit

DETROIT – Repairs are being made to a bridge that’s seemingly falling apart.

It’s located on Green and Chatfield in southwest Detroit.

However, some of the people that live nearby are saying the efforts being made might be happening too late.

“We heard a big crash and boom and it sounded like a grenade going off. It was a long piece about 40 to 50 feet long and it just came down,” said southwest Detroit resident, Rock.

He is more than concerned with the condition of the bridge right around the corner from his house after a huge concrete slab fell multiple feet from the structure.

“Trains go over it 24/7, shaking it more and more loose. That’s what happened. A train was coming by and that was about the same time it fell,” said Rock.

Thankfully no one was hurt, a huge sigh of relief considering Roberto Clemente Learning Academy is right next door.

“If that piece of structure would have fallen on the car of a pedestrian, it would have killed them immediately,” said Larry Alcantar, another southwest Detroit resident.

Alcantar passes under the bridge everyday and says a lack of routine maintenance is what might have led to this happening.

“I’m glad right now they’re taking some remedial effects of it. But you know, the horse is already out in the pasture,” Alcantar added.

Rock says he has lived in the area his whole life and during that period no repairs have been made.

“The bridge hasn’t been worked on, I don’t think ever. I’ve lived here my whole life, fifty years and I’ve never seen them do anything to that bridge except throw some paint on it. We just gotta thank God nobody got hurt,” said Rock.

Local 4 News has been told this was the result of a damaged parapet wall. Norfolk Southern are working to have that repaired. On top of that, the company is going to inspect other bridges nearby for the same type of damage.

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About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.