A man on his way to a Tigers game in Detroit earlier this month fell 15 feet after the pedestrian bridge he was using to cross the M-10 Lodge Freeway collapsed beneath him.
Ely Hydes was crossing the Spruce Street bridge on May 9 from his home in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit on his way to Comerica Park. He told the Detroit News he was just walking along, talking to his buddy when the concrete of the bridge gave way:
Hydes said Sunday he was talking with a friend on his way to the ball game, “and in mid-sentence the bridge just collapsed under my feet.
“I wasn’t sure where I was, and as I was falling I remember thinking, ‘I hope I’m not over the freeway.’ I landed about 6 feet from the traffic,” the 36-year-old attorney said.
Hydes said a Detroit police squad car showed up at the scene, and that he told two officers what happened.
“I don’t know if they took a report or not,” Hydes said.
That’s a close call. Hydes landed hard 15 feet below on the shoulder of the busy M-10 Lodge freeway, earning quite a few nasty bruises and scrapes from jagged rebar. The Lodge has a posted speed of 55 mph, but as as seasoned Detroiter I can tell you most folks are going 70 mph or faster. And during a Tigers game? That freeway would have been packed with cars heading downtown to the game. Hydes is lucky to be alive. He told the Detroit News he’s considering suing the state for his medical bills and time off work due to the fall, as the advanced state of decay of the bridge was unacceptable.
In classic Detroit fashion, no one seemed in a rush to address the issue. While two Detroit police officers responded to Hydes’ fall, the pedestrian bridge was left open until the next Sunday, with a few traffic cones marking the hole that Hydes fell through. The state only closed the bridge after journalists at the Detroit News called to ask about the situation. Officers said they left voicemails at the Detroit Department of Public Works and Street Maintenance division, but apparently communication broke down from there.
Inspecting the 69-year-old bridge is now a top priority for the Michigan Department of Transportation. Workers secured the bridge to ensure it’s safe for traffic to pass under. And before we mock Detroit as literally falling apart, then entire state of Michigan has some rough infrastructure. The state earned a D+ in 2018 from the American Society of Civil Engineers with its bridges and roads in particular dragging down the rating.