GIBC Pier Protection Enhancement Project is Successful
Four Day Project on One Pier Costs GIBC More Than $40,000
The GIBC obtained permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to add rip-rap and other protective materials near the bottom of one of the piers in the middle of the Toll Bridge. The MDEQ directed GIBC to delay this work until mid-August which is the end of the nesting season for Common Terns (a threatened species of birds that nest on the Toll Bridge's north and south protection piers).
GIBC's contractor expects to complete the rip-rap project by August 31. Vehicle traffic flow across the Toll Bridge and marine vessels passing through the span have not been affected by this project.
Over the years the GIBC has spent significant amounts of money to maintain and enhance the protection for the piers which are critically important to the structural integrity of all bridges. The Toll Bridge's piers are regularly inspected -- top to bottom underwater observation (video recorded) and testing of the piers by helmeted divers are key components of the GIBC's inspection process.
The Toll Bridge's piers are armor reinforced with steel plates from the river bed to above the water line. The piers are extremely stable and strong as they were built into the bedrock in the river bottom.
The four day pier protection enhancement project completed by a Michigan-based contractor cost the GIBC more than $40,000. The GIBC pays 100% of the cost to maintain and operate the Toll Bridge with the user fee toll fare. No taxpayers' funds have ever been used to maintain or operate the Toll Bridge. The GIBC pays $58,000 a year in taxes to Grosse Ile Township and also annually pays the same amount of taxes to the City of Riverview.
Since GIBC President and Owner Paul Smoke took charge of the company in 1982, the company has invested over $10 million on maintaining and improving the Toll Bridge. GIBC's long-term capital improvement plan is designed to ensure that the life of the Toll Bridge is virtually unlimited.