OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – With beautiful sunsets, sparkling waters and a chorus of cranes, there are many benefits to living on the Maloney Avenue peninsula, but the Maloney Bridge is not one of them.
The 50-year-old wooden bridge is failing and the weight limit has been reduced to 9 tons by the Road Commission for Oakland County. It will be replaced next year, which means no school buses or garbage trucks can cross.
The 15 homes will have to haul their trash over the bridge for pick up, and neighbors are frustrated.
“I just wish that this had been communicated better,” said Paul Beebe.
Beebe and his neighbors found out last week about the weight change.
Oxford Township does not have a single hauler trash service. Three haulers service the peninsula and two of them have already said there’s nothing they can do. A third, GFL Environmental, is sending an operations manager out Friday to see if one of its small trucks could pass but that would also likely require all of the neighbors to get out of their current contracts with other haulers.
The township does not own or maintain the bridge. It belongs to the road commission. The township has not gone to a single hauler because some residents claim they have a right to pick their own trash company, leaving no leverage to force pickup.
“We didn’t cause this problem but we’re trying to solve it,” said Oxford Township Supervisor Jack Curtis.
Curtis has been trying to get the weight master and the trash haulers to hash out a deal. He calmed the fear that fire trucks and EMS would not be allowed to cross. They will as long as it’s an emergency.
The bridge was slated to be replaced in 2023; however, because it’s deteriorating, that construction is slated for summer 2022.
More: Oakland County news