IMAGE: Norman Street Bridge

Aretha Hairston is like a lot of Saginaw residents wondering why they can’t cross the Norman Street Bridge above Veterans Memorial Parkway.

“I was wondering why it’s closed,” Hairston told TV5.

The overpass has been closed since June, creating headaches for people like her.

“My mother stays on Casimir. And even if we want to turn, and you know, go downtown, this way or whatever, we can’t.”

So TV5 spoke with city officials to ask the tough questions about what is going on.

“So, the Norman Street Bridge is structurally deficient,” explained Saginaw’s Assistant Deputy Director of Public Service Beth London.

London says the bridge isn’t safe to cross.

“The north end of the beams underneath are in poor condition and could no longer hold the weight of the traffic,” London explained.

She said the city will get help from the State of Michigan to address the bridge issue.

“We do have funds in the current state fiscal year of 2020. And the rehabilitation project will start April 1.”

So, it appears the Norman Street Bridge will be closed for a while. But London says when the bridge reopens, residents will say it was worth the wait.

“I think they’re really going to be pleasantly surprised when the bridge is done. Because it’s a whole new super structure. So, everything on top will be brand new.”

As for Hairston, she’s looking forward to the day she can have a faster trip downtown.

“Well, I hope they fix it. I really do.”

Officials expect construction on the bridge to be completed by August 12, 2020. 

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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