Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Updated: Photos: Portage Lift Bridge, Aug. 4

Photos by Gustavo Bourdieu

Update on Thursday, Aug. 5: We have received word the Bridge is advising maritime traffic, that there will be no further attempt to lift the bridge for marine traffic to pass until at least 6 p.m. this evening. The bridge is open to auto traffic while repairs are still being made.

Traffic barrier holds back cars on the Houghton side of the Portage Lift Bridge on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 4, 2010. The movable, center section of the bridge could not be lowered to the street level on the Houghton side, stopping traffic from both sides of the bridge for several hours. Click on photos for larger versions. (Photos by Gustavo Bourdieu for Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON, HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Now photographer Gustavo Bourdieu was caught in the halted traffic caused by the problem with the Portage Lift Bridge this afternoon, Wednesday, Aug. 4. He managed to park in Houghton, walk downtown and capture a few views of the bridge and the traffic.

This photo shows the faulty center section of the bridge, which normally lifts to allow large boats to pass under the bridge and then descends to street level. Today, Aug. 4, the Houghton (south) side of this center section could not be lowered normally.

A small boat passes under the bridge while traffic is still halted.

Traffic heading north, backed up on Shelden Avenue in Houghton for nearly three hours, begins to move again about 5:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

This photo was taken looking south on Shelden Avenue from the Houghton Post Office on the right, as traffic backed up on U.S. 41 begins to move again once the bridge problem is solved, earlier than predicted.

Update -- Editor's Note: A brochure from MDOT (Michigan Dept. of Transportation) lists information about community resources available during a bridge emergency such as this one on Aug. 4. Internet sources listed are and Radio stations to consult are WOLV 97.7 FM, KBEAR 102.3 Fm and WCCY 1400 AM. Television: WLUC TV6. Keweenaw Now will also attempt to keep readers informed as we receive news. The brochure is available in the City of Hancock office.

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