Vrooman Road is a county road that provides critical connection in Lake County, with dedicated exit and entrance ramps to I-90.
The previous Vrooman Road Bridge over the Grand River was a replacement built in 1952 and rehabilitated in 1980. By 2002, the bridge was deemed structurally deficient. It typically closed due to flooding several times per year, including a five-month closure after major rain activity in 2006.
The project constructed a new high-level bridge across the Grand River Valley, improved several intersections with Vrooman Road, and resurfaced Vrooman Road. The new bridge is located on a new alignment within the Lake Metroparks’ Indian Point Park and is a six-span, 1,800-ft-long, continuous, composite steel girder bridge in horizontal alignment. The structure is supported by cast-in-place, reinforced concrete substructure units founded on drilled shafts anchored in bedrock. The Vrooman Road Bridge project replaced the aging bridge, enhanced public safety with better intersection geometry, provided better alignments for travel in snowy and icy conditions, and eliminated flood hazard.
Following the environmental assessment, the team engaged in extensive coordination with the Grand River Advisory Council. This led to environmental commitments in the form of a 32-point package of specific items that the project needed to address to be compliant with the environmental documentation.
The span itself provided an additional challenge. The team had to set the river span to be outside of the 100-year high-water mark and as far away from the riverbank as possible. The piers were placed to be as far apart as possible to minimize impacts to the surrounding wetlands. The surrounding mountains also dictated that a curved shape would be necessary, an added design challenge.
The new bridge not only provides a safer, more reliable structure for cars and trucks, but also provides pedestrian-friendly paths so that all can make use of the crossing and the surrounding scenic area.