Escanaba River Bridge to close Sept. 5-8

Courtesy photo In a photo provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation, work continues on the E&LS Railroad bridge over U.S. 2 and 41. MDOT is planning to close U.S. 2 and 41 to eastbound and westbound traffic at the Escanaba River from 9 p.m. on Sept. 5 to 6 a.m. on Sept. 8.

WELLS — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) plans to completely close the Escanaba River Bridge between Escanaba and Gladstone from 9 p.m. on Sept. 5 to 6 a.m. on Sept. 8.

The closure had originally been planned for August, according to MDOT Communications Representative for the Superior Region Dan Weingarten. The closure will take place to allow for bridge beam placement work on the E&LS Railroad bridge.

“We had to push the closure back because some components that are needed for placing the bridge beams have not been delivered yet,” he said.

During the closure, eastbound traffic will be detoured from U.S. 2 via County Roads 426, 420, and 531 and onto M-35 before returning to U.S. 2. This route will be reversed for westbound traffic. As some segments of County Road 426 are closed to oversized loads, drivers carrying these loads are encouraged to call the Delta County Road Commission at (906) 786-3200 Monday through Thursday to find an alternate route.

The planned closure will overlap with the Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo, which is scheduled to take place in Escanaba from Sept. 7-9. However, Weingarten said MDOT is not expecting this to have a major impact on the event.

“We don’t anticipate that the closure should make a difference, as far as setup will go,” he said.

He noted that this is the case due to the restrictions already in place on this section of U.S. 2 and 41.

“Large equipment that might be on display at this event can’t be moved through the construction zone, anyway,” he said.

Weingarten also said MDOT has encountered issues related to high water levels on the Escanaba River during the course of the bridge replacement project. Due to these issues, the project is about five to six weeks behind schedule.

“In order to keep the project on track, we have to get this work done as quickly as possible,” he said.

This is not expected to be the last time this section of U.S. 2 and 41 will be closed to traffic in 2017.

“There are two more planned closures that would have to be completed this fall to keep things on schedule,” Weingarten said. The dates for these closures have not yet been set.


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