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US-31 bascule bridge in Manistee to remain closed for additional repairs

GAYLORD, Mich. - The US-31 bascule bridge over the Manistee River in Manistee, currently closed to vehicle traffic during construction, will remain closed through early November to allow for additional repairs.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is investing $12.6 million to make repairs and upgrades to the bridge, first opened in 1933. The project includes replacing portions of the bridge deck, upgrading the bridge’s mechanical and electrical systems, full painting of the bridge’s structural steel, and improvements to the bridge approaches.

The bridge has been closed to vehicle traffic since July 10 to allow for repairs, and traffic was to remain detoured on city streets until Sept. 15. Additional structural steel and historical concrete repairs identified during construction will require continuing closure and detour until early November.

“We realize that the closure and detour extension is an inconvenience to the community, but we need to ensure these repairs are made properly now to avoid additional repairs and closures in the future,” said Melzar Coulter, assistant construction engineer for MDOT’s Traverse City Transportation Service Center (TSC).

Lane closures with traffic shifts on the bridge will resume from early November to the end of the year. Beginning Jan. 2 and continuing to March 25, 2024, the bridge again will be closed and traffic detoured. Marine traffic will be closed from Dec. 1, 2023, to March 25, 2024.

Northbound US-31 traffic is detoured on 1st Street, Maple Street, and Memorial Drive; southbound US-31 is detoured on Monroe Street, Maple Street, and 1st Street. Truck traffic is detoured on M-55 and Stronach Road.

Based on economic modeling, this investment is expected to directly and indirectly support 152 jobs. This work will improve the driving surface of the bridge, improve reliability of the bridge’s operation, and extend the life of the structure.

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