Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MDOT to hold public meeting on Portage Lift Bridge maintenance project and bridge closures Dec. 18

View of Portage Lift Bridge by night. The public is invited to review plans for upcoming bridge closures at a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) meeting TOMORROW, Thursday, Dec. 18, in Fisher 138 at Michigan Tech. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HOUGHTON -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will share plans for the major maintenance project on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge at a meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. TOMORROW, Thursday, Dec. 18, in Fisher 138 on the Michigan Tech campus.

Residents, community stakeholders and business owners can review the plans for construction and ask questions of MDOT staff members and contractor representatives.

MDOT will perform upgrades and preventive maintenance work on the lift bridge between Houghton and Hancock from mid-December 2014 to mid-April 2016. This $8.3 million project includes lift cable replacement, balance chain maintenance, electrical and mechanical upgrades, security system improvements, spot painting and new barrier gates.

The project will require two long-term nighttime closures of the bridge and numerous short-term closures.

Here is the tentative schedule for closures from January to March 2015:
  • One 10-hour closure (with ramp for emergency vehicles): WHEN? Jan. 17, 2015, nighttime (9 p.m. - 7 a.m.) with an alternate date of Jan 24 in case of weather delay. WHY? Disconnect lift cables from lift span.

  • Eight 2-hour closures: WHEN? January 2015, nighttime (2 a.m. - 4 a.m.). WHY? Remove balance chains.

  • 168 intermittent 15-20-minute closures. WHEN? January - March 2015, nighttime (7 p.m. - 6 a.m.) WHY? Lift cable removal and reinstallation.

  • One 11.5 hour closure (with ramp for emergency vehicles). WHEN? March 21, 2015, nighttime (8 p.m. - 7:30 a.m.) with an alternate date of March 28 in case of weather delay. WHY? Connect lift span to new cables.

  • Eight 2-hour closures. WHEN? March 2015, nighttime (2 a.m. - 4 a.m.) WHY?  Install balance chains.

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