Wayne County Bridge

Wayne County Bridge

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Wayne County Bridge

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The Wayne County Bridge is a swing bridge that crosses the Trenton Channel in the Detroit River. Located in Wayne County, it connects Grosse Ile Township to mainland Trenton. It is one of two bridges connecting the island of Grosse Ile to the mainland — the other being the tolled Grosse Ile Toll Bridge to the north. Locals from Downriver also refer to the bridge as "The Free Bridge".


During 1931, Wayne County converted the Michigan Central Railroad's defunct rail bridge crossing the Trenton Channel into the Wayne County Bridge for use by vehicular, bike, and pedestrian traffic. Canada Southern Bridge Company, a subsidiary of the Canada Southern Railroad Company, built the rail bridge in 1873. A number of the original support piers and other parts of the bridge served as the foundation for the Wayne County Bridge.

The rail tracks across the island were replaced by a roadway that is now known as Grosse Ile Parkway. The Wayne County Bridge is commonly called the "Free Bridge" by Grosse Ile residents because of the absence of a user fee toll for crossing. Today, about three-quarters of the vehicle traffic going to and from Grosse Ile travels over the Wayne County Bridge while one-quarter crosses the Grosse Ile Toll Bridge.

Wayne County completely closed their bridge to vehicle traffic from May 2, 2007 until December 21, 2007 to enable the replacement of the bridge deck and related major repairs. The county last replaced the bridge deck in...
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